Assessing the Structure of Prejudicial Attitudes: The Case of Attitudes Toward Homosexuals

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Two studies assessed the structure of attitudes toward homosexuals. In Study 1, Ss completed measures of stereotypes, symbolic beliefs, and affective associates as well as attitudes toward homosexuals. They also completed the right-wing authoritarianism (RWA) scale. The results revealed that (a) stereotypes did not provide a complete representation of attitudes, (b) RWA was negatively correlated with attitudes toward homosexuals, (c) the relative importance of the predictor variables differed for high and low RWAs, and (d) the three predictors accounted for more variance in the attitudes of low RWAs than of high RWAs. Study 2 also included measures of past experiences and perceived value dissimilarity. Results revealed that past experiences significantly added to the prediction of attitudes only for high RWAs and that much of the RWA–attitude relation was accounted for by the consideration of symbolic beliefs and perceived value dissimilarity.

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