Humility attenuates negative attitudes and behaviors toward religious out-group members

Daryl R. Van Tongeren, Joshua Stafford, Joshua N. Hook, Jeffrey D. Green, Don E. Davis, Kathryn Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations

Abstract

Humility is marked by the regulation of selfish impulses for the sake of others, including holding a modest view of one’s beliefs (and their relative strengths and weaknesses). In three studies, we evaluated the extent to which humility attenuates negative attitudes, behavioral intentions, and behaviors toward religious out-group members. In Study 1 (N = 159), humility regarding religious beliefs was associated with positive attitudes toward religiously different individuals. In Study 2 (N = 149), relational and intellectual humility were associated with less aggressive behavioral intentions in a hypothetical situation in which their cherished beliefs were criticized. In Study 3 (N = 62), participants implicitly primed with humility administered significantly less hot sauce (a behavioral measure of aggression) to a religious out-group member who criticized their cherished views relative to participants in the neutral prime condition. We highlight the importance of humility in promoting positive attitudes and behaviors toward religious out-group members.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)199-208
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Positive Psychology
Volume11
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 3 2016

Keywords

  • beliefs
  • defensiveness
  • humility
  • out-groups
  • religious
  • tolerance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)

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