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Agnew, Christopher R.; Thompson, Vaida D.; & Gaines, Stanley O., Jr. (2000). Incorporating Proximal and Distal Influences on Prejudice: Testing a General Model across Outgroups. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 26(4), 403-418.


The present research integrates various social psychological approaches to understanding the causes of traditional prejudice. The authors examined (a) whether conceptually distinct variable sets shown previously to predict prejudice could be modeled collectively within a proximal-distal framework and (b) whether different outgroups could be modeled collectively within this framework. The authors developed and tested a model that included four sets of explanatory factors derived from past research: Family Status, Contextual Exposures, Beliefs, and Personality. It was hypothesized that the influence of these factors could be represented in a causal sequence such that (a) the distal factors (i.e., Family Status and Contextual Exposures) would lead to both proximal factors (i.e., Beliefs and Personality) and (b) the proximal factors would lead directly to Negative Attitudes Toward Outgroups. Structural equation analyses of data obtained from two independent samples generally supported the model—the impact of distal factors on prejudice was mediated largely by proximal factors.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin


Agnew, Christopher R.
Thompson, Vaida D.
Gaines, Stanley O., Jr.