Anti-Immigrant Prejudice: Understanding the Roles of (Perceived) Values and Value Dissimilarity

Lukas Wolf, Netta Weinstein, Gregory Maio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Although human values and value dissimilarity play pivotal roles in the prejudice
literature, there remain important gaps in our understanding. To address these gaps, we recruited three British samples (N=350) and presented Muslim immigrants, refugees, and economic migrants as target groups. Using polynomial regression analyses, we simultaneously tested effects of individuals’ own values, their perceptions of immigrant values, and self-immigrant value dissimilarities on prejudice. Results indicated that favorability toward immigrants is higher when individuals hold higher self-transcendence values (e.g., equality) and lower self-enhancement values (e.g., power), and when they perceive immigrants to hold higher self-transcendence values and lower self-enhancement values. In addition, prejudice toward immigrants is higher when individuals who hold higher conservation values (e.g., security) perceive immigrants to value openness (e.g., freedom) more, suggesting a value dissimilarity effect. No value dissimilarity effects emerged when immigrants were perceived to be higher in conservation, self-transcendence, or self-enhancement values. Overall, these results showed that effects of values and value dissimilarity differ depending on which value dimension is considered. Additionally, the results revealed support for a novel mechanism with the motivation to be non-prejudiced underpinning the links between individuals’ values and prejudice. Our discussion highlights the multifaceted manner in which values are linked to prejudice.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)925-953
Number of pages29
JournalJournal of Personality and Social Psychology
Issue number5
Early online date21 Jan 2019
Publication statusPublished - 30 Nov 2019


  • human values
  • prejudice
  • dissimilarity
  • immigrants


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