Disentangling the belief in God and cognitive rigidity/flexibility components of religiosity to predict racial and value-violating prejudice: A Post-Critical Belief Scale analysis

Document Type


Publication Date



Past research indicates that being religious is associated with prejudice toward racial and value-violating out-groups. However, this past research treated religiosity as a unidimensional construct without taking into account how different components of religiosity-belief in a higher power and the rigidity/flexibility of religious beliefs-are associated with measures of prejudice. Two studies examined the relationship between these two components of religiosity, as measured by the Post-Critical Beliefs Scale, and racial (African Americans, Arabs) and value-violating prejudices (atheists, gay men). As the flexibility of religious beliefs increased (literal vs. symbolic dimension), attitudes toward racial and value-violating out-groups became more positive (Study 1). As belief in God strengthened (exclusion vs. inclusion of transcendence dimension), attitudes toward value-violating out-groups became more negative. Study 2 demonstrated that these two components of religiosity fully mediated the relationship between general religiosity and prejudice toward African Americans, Arabs, and gay men and partially mediated the relationship between religiosity and prejudice toward atheists. Results are discussed in light of reexamining the conclusion that simply being religious is associated with prejudice. © 2012 Published by Elsevier Ltd.

This document is currently not available here.