American National Identification: Does it Predict Prejudice?
There has been growing evidence that ingroup identification is multidimensional (Leidner et. al. 2010). Higher overall ingroup identification has been shown to lead to stronger intergroup bias (e.g., Aberson et al., 2000). On the other hand, past research indicates that ingroup identification does not necessarily lead to outgroup hate (Brewer, 1999). The goal of this study was to explore how different types of American identification relate to attitudes towards Muslims. A correlational study was conducted in a sample of 716 American students (average age 20 years, 47% male). Participants completed several measures of national identification and explicit prejudice towards Muslims. Participants also completed the Implicit Association Test to assess their implicit attitudes towards Muslims (Greenwald, McGhee, & Schwartz, 1998). Traits related to glorification of one's country (glorification, nationalism and social dominance) were correlated with greater implicit and explicit prejudice towards Muslims. On the other hand, traits related to attachment to one's country (patriotism and commitment) were associated with lower implicit and explicit prejudice towards Muslims. These findings suggest that different types of American identity differentially predict implicit and explicit prejudice towards Muslims. Not all aspects of identification have the same negative effects on attitudes towards outgroups.