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International Journal of Psychological Research

Print version ISSN 2011-2084


PASSINI, Stefano. Subtle Prejudice and Conformism: The Intergroup Indifference. int.j.psychol.res. [online]. 2017, vol.10, n.1, pp.25-34. ISSN 2011-2084.

ABSTRACT In understanding the dynamics that lead to the restriction of human rights, social psychology research has mainly focused on the concept of the banality of evil and of obedience to destructive and immoral orders. However, some authors have also underlined the relevant role of by standing and, in general, of indifference in supporting authoritarian policies on a par with the obedience to authority. The aim of this research was to study the notion of intergroup indifference, defined as being uninterested in problems affecting other social groups. The hypothesis was that indifferent people should be characterized by subtle modalities of obedience to authority and prejudicial attitudes, by exclusive attitudes and by conformist and traditional positions. Results showed that participants who respond with an indifferent stance to some parliamentary bills related to arbitrary policies towards minorities appear to be characterized by similar scores on subtle prejudice, submission to authority, conventionalism, willingness to protest, conservative values and moral exclusion attitudes to those people who openly support such policies. Instead, these two groups differ as concerns more overt hostile attitudes. These data suggest that indifferent people have a role in supporting arbitrary policies. As a theoretical implication, future research should consider that intergroup dynamics do not involve just people who obey or disobey authority. People who apparently do not take up any stance before an authority's policies should be considered as well.

Keywords : Intergroup indifference; authoritarianism; obedience; prejudice; values.

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