When affective (but not cognitive) ambivalence predicts discrimination toward a minority group

Alberto Mirisola, Alberto Mirisola, Stefano Pagliaro, Maria Giuseppina Pacilli, Angelica Mucchi-Faina, Francesca Romana Alparone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Individuals often hold ambivalent attitudes (i.e., positive and negative attitudes at the same time) toward groups and social categories. The aim of the present research was to examine the differential effects of affective and cognitive dimensions of ambivalence on the (amplification of) responses towards a minority group. We asked 188 students from the University of Perugia to read a short description of a fictitious group of immigrants. After expressing their affective and cognitive attitudes toward the target group, participants received positive, negative, or no supplementary information about this group. Discrimination was assessed by asking participants to allocate to the target group a percentage of a financial support fund for poor people (both Italian and immigrant) living in their regional area. As expected, we found that only affective ambivalence amplified either negative or positive responses toward the group.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10-24
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology


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