Personality - Prejudice Relation: Theoretical Basis and Overview of Empirical Findings


  • Jelena Matić Bojić Institut za društvena istraživanja u Zagrebu, Centar za istraživanje i razvoj obrazovanja, Zagreb


personality, prejudice, generalized prejudice, right-wing authoritarianism, social dominance orientation


In the last twenty years, there has been a renewed interest in dispositional explanations of prejudice. The research traditions of early dispositional and social approaches have faced fierce debate on the role of person vs. situation in developing prejudice throughout the history of prejudice research. Contemporary research practice, however, inclines toward the integration of these approaches. Moreover, there have been empirically established complementarities of the two perspectives. This paper aims to contextualize the dispositional approach to prejudice, to present the basic concepts, theoretical basis and empirical data on the relationship between personality and prejudice, and to shed light onto open questions and future directions. It focuses on the association between personality and prejudice toward various social groups, often appearing under the 'generalized prejudice' construct. This construct is of vital importance for understanding the contributions of dispositional approach to prejudice. The central part of the paper contains the review of Duckitt's dual-process cognitive-motivational theory of ideology and prejudice that is at the base of personality-prejudice relation, with a special emphasis dedicated to the role of right-wing authoritarianism and social dominance orientation, ideological variables which mediate the personality-prejudice relationship. Further on, empirical findings on the association between prejudice and Big Five and HEXACO personality are presented. Openness to experience, agreeableness and honesty-humility stand out as key antecedents of prejudice. The concluding part discusses current disputes in the research on personality-prejudice relation: the status of agreeableness as a predictor of prejudice and the consistency of dispositional correlates of (generalized) prejudice.