According to self-affirmation theory, prejudice towards minority groups represents defensive reactions that individuals may exhibit to cope with threats to their ingroup. Affirming participants’ important values, reminding them of important personal or collective successes, attenuates defensive reactions such as prejudice and discrimination. A distinction is first made between self-affirmation, accomplished by recalling values that are meaningful to the individual, and group-affirmation, achieved through the recall of values important to an ingroup (e.g., family, nation). Inconsistent results were obtained in studies using self- and group-affirmation manipulations for reducing prejudice. The aim of this article is to examine factors that can increase the efficacy of these interventions. We argue that individual factors such as differences in value orientation can influence the effect of self-affirmation on intergroup attitudes. In contrast, the effect of group-affirmation on reducing prejudice may be hampered by cultural factors such as the normative context in which the intervention is implemented. Limitations of actual studies and future directions are discussed.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.