Negative attitudes toward Muslims in the Netherlands: The role of symbolic threat, stereotypes, and moral emotions

C. Wirtz, Joop van der Pligt, Bertjan Doosje

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticle


The present study addresses negative attitudes toward Muslims in The Netherlands, and combines ideas from integrated threat theory and socio-functional perspectives on threats and emotions. We proposed a model in which symbolic threat and negative stereotypes predict prejudice, social distance, and political intolerance toward Muslims through moral emotions. Results generally support the model and show that the relations of symbolic threat and stereotypes with prejudice and social distance were mediated by the moral emotions disgust, anger and pity. This was not the case for the relation between symbolic threat and political intolerance. Disgust and pity were strongly related to social distance, whereas anger was more strongly related to political intolerance. These findings confirm the importance of taking into
account moral emotions in out-group attitudes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)75-83
Number of pages9
JournalPeace and Conflict: Journal of Peace Psychology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2016



  • moral emotions
  • political intolerance
  • Muslim minority
  • prejudic
  • threat

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