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Published July 1, 2020 | Supplemental Material + Published
Journal Article Open

Personality traits are directly associated with anti-black prejudice in the United States


Modern psychological theories postulate that individual differences in prejudice are determined by social and ideological attitudes instead of personality. For example, the dual-process motivational (DPM) model argues that personality does not directly associate with prejudice when controlling for the attitudinal variables that capture the authoritarian-conservatism motivation and the dominance motivation. Previous studies testing the DPM model largely relied on convenience samples and/or European samples, and have produced inconsistent results. Here we examined the extent to which anti-black prejudice was associated with the Big Five personality traits and social and ideological attitudes (authoritarianism, social dominance orientation, political party affiliation) in two large probability samples of the general population (N₁ = 3,132; N₂ = 2,483) from the American National Election Studies (ANES). We performed structural equation modeling (SEM) to test the causal assumptions between the latent variables and used survey weights to generate estimates that were representative of the population. Different from prior theories, across both datasets we found that two personality traits, agreeableness and conscientiousness, were directly associated with anti-black prejudice when controlling for authoritarianism, social dominance orientation, and political party affiliation. We also found that a substantial part of the associations between personality traits and anti-black prejudice were mediated through those social and ideological attitudes, which might serve as candidates for prejudice-reduction interventions in the real world.

Additional Information

© 2020 Lin, Alvarez. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Received: January 24, 2020; Accepted: June 15, 2020; Published: July 1, 2020. Editor: Shang E. Ha, Sogang University (South Korea), Republic of Korea. Data Availability Statement: https://osf.io/zhtvf/? view_only=134010a7a05e4d0ab8cbd6b2927f98eb. The authors received no specific funding for this work. The authors have declared that no competing interests exist. Author Contributions: Conceptualization: Chujun Lin, R. Michael Alvarez. Formal analysis: Chujun Lin. Methodology: Chujun Lin, R. Michael Alvarez. Project administration: R. Michael Alvarez. Supervision: R. Michael Alvarez. Writing – original draft: Chujun Lin. Writing – review & editing: Chujun Lin, R. Michael Alvarez.

Attached Files

Published - journal.pone.0235436.pdf

Supplemental Material - journal.pone.0235436.s001.docx

Supplemental Material - journal.pone.0235436.s002.docx

Supplemental Material - journal.pone.0235436.s003.docx


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