A sociofunctional approach to prejudice at the polls: Are atheists more politically disadvantaged than gays and blacks?

Andrew S. Franks, Kyle C. Scherr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations

Abstract

Prejudice against atheists is pervasive in the United States.Atheists lag behind virtually all other minority groups on measures of social acceptance. The sociofunctional approach suggests that distrust is at the core of anti-atheist prejudice, thus making it qualitatively different than prejudice against other disadvantaged groups. Accordingly, this research examined political bias against atheists, gays, and Blacks and the affective content accompanying such biases. Results indicated that atheists suffered the largest deficit in voting intentions from Christian participants, and this deficit was accompanied by distrust, disgust, and fear, thereby suggesting that the affective content of anti-atheist prejudice is both broader and more extreme than prejudice against other historically disadvantaged groups. Theoretical and applied implications are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)681-691
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Applied Social Psychology
Volume44
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - 2014

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