Psychology of Prejudice

Topics: Religion, Christianity, Discrimination Pages: 2 (566 words) Published: August 3, 2013
Michael Keller
Psychology of Prejudice

In describing the relationship between religious involvement and prejudice, it must first be noted, as described in our book, “almost all the research on the relationship between religion and prejudice has been conducted in North America and most of the participants in the research have been White, middle-class Christians.”(Whitley & Kite, 2010, p. 256) That being said, there has consistently been found a positive correlation between certain types of White Christian religion and prejudice (p.257). These findings upset religious leaders and psychology of religion researchers of that faith because of the stigma of, what is essentially, being labeled as racist and homophobic in today’s society. These findings also go against what is considered one of the tenets of the Christian faith, love thy neighbor as thy self. So when you tell those in the religious community that their religion is associated with intolerance of others, of course, they are not going to be displeased with the findings. These findings did, however, start researchers on a different approach to studying the correlation between religion and prejudice. The change involved switching from studying how much involvement people had in the church to the actually content of their belief in their religion (p.257). This led the researchers to coming up with four categorizes of religious orientation: Intrinsic, Extrinsic, Quest, and Fundamentalism.

People with Intrinsic religious orientation are those who try to live their lives by the dogma set forth by their religion. They have a real faith in their religious teachings and genuinely want to follow it. These individuals tend to have little or no correlation to racial prejudice, but, there is a correlation between being anti-gay prejudice. Many researchers believe this is because while not tolerating someone because of the color of their skin is proscribed, homosexuality is seen as immoral...

Cited: Whitley, Bernard E., and Mary E. Kite. The Psychology of Prejudice and Discrimination. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning, 2010. Print.
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