Special section: Community resourcing

Political intolerance: the role of intergroup threat and negative intergroup emotion

Published in: Journal of Psychology in Africa
Volume 25, issue 3, 2015 , pages: 208–215
DOI: 10.1080/14330237.2015.1065055
Author(s): Melina OjiamboDepartment of Psychology, South Africa, Johann LouwDepartment of Psychology, South Africa


This study investigated whether the perception of intergroup threat, and intergroup emotion, are related to political intolerance. One hundred and twenty three South African undergraduate students (females = 76%; males = 24%; White = 65%; Coloured = 24%; Indian = 8%; Chinese = 2%; mean age  = 19.8, SD = 3.03 years) were randomly assigned to either a heightened (n = 68) or low intergroup threat condition (n = 55). Data on intergroup threat, intergroup emotion and political intolerance were collected utilising a questionnaire. T-test effect comparisons including multiple regression analyses were computed to determine effects of intergroup threat and negative intergroup emotion on political intolerance. Results revealed negative intergroup emotion and perceived intergroup threat to predict political intolerance. Negative intergroup emotion mediated the relationship between perceived threat and political intolerance. These findings suggest that intergroup threat may lead to the rise of negative intergroup emotion which in turn creates an environment conducive to the development of political intolerance.

Get new issue alerts for Journal of Psychology in Africa