Aaron Dustin Wins at UMaine Student Symposium!

Sociology Double Major, Aaron Dustin, has won the social sciences award at the 2021 UMaine Student Syposium. See below for the abstract and a link to the presentation itself. Congratulations to Aaron!

0746. Mediation of the Religion Prejudice Link
Undergraduate Presentation.
Author(s): Aaron Dustin, Sally B. Barker, Jordan P. LaBouff Mentor(s): Jordan LaBouff
Abstract: Although religious teachings typically recommend prosocial behavior, religiosity is reliably linked to prejudice. This paradoxical relationship raises the question: what is it about religion that might lead to prejudice despite religion’s apparent drive for prosociality? The answer may lie with religious fundamentalism, a particularly rigid way of holding one’s religious beliefs as the single deepest and most certain source of truth. We propose that religious fundamentalism mediates the relationship between religiosity and prejudice. We also propose that any relationship between religious fundamentalism and prejudice will be further mediated by three facets of inflexible thinking: belief rigidity, dualism, and inviolacy. We’re going to look specifically at prejudice against Muslims in a Christian sample for several reasons: 1) Christians see Muslims as a value-violating outgroup and previous research has linked Christian religious fundamentalism to anti-Muslim prejudice, 2) prejudice against Muslims in the U.S. is fairly common, and 3) anti-Muslim prejudice in the U.S. is not as stigmatized as many other forms of prejudice making it easier to measure directly. To test this mediation, we plan to use an online survey of an all-Christian sample (n=~232) collected at UMaine. Participants will complete measures of religiosity, prejudice against Muslims, religious fundamentalism, belief rigidity, dualism, and inviolacy. We expect that mediation analyses will show that religiosity is linked to prejudice through the mechanism of religious fundamentalism, and that religious fundamentalism is linked to prejudice through the mechanisms of belief rigidity, dualism, and inviolacy.