Title: Personality and situational influences on changes in prejudice
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00098335/00001
 Material Information
Title: Personality and situational influences on changes in prejudice
Physical Description: ix, 256 leaves. : illus. ; 28 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Foley, Linda Anderson, 1941-
Publication Date: 1974
Copyright Date: 1974
Subject: Prejudices   ( lcsh )
Psychology thesis Ph. D   ( lcsh )
Dissertations, Academic -- Psychology -- UF   ( lcsh )
Genre: bibliography   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
Thesis: Thesis -- University of Florida.
Bibliography: Bibliography: leaves 245-255.
Statement of Responsibility: by Linda A. Foley.
General Note: Typescript.
General Note: Vita.
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Bibliographic ID: UF00098335
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: alephbibnum - 000582523
oclc - 14119264
notis - ADB0898


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The author would like to express her deep appre-

ciation to Dr. Robert C. Ziller, Chairman of her super-

visory committee, for his support and encouragement. She

would also like to thank Dr. Lawrence J. Severy and Dr.

Richard M. Swanson, for their invaluable advice and direc-

tion. -Special appreciation is due Dr. Jack Feldman for

his many helpful suggestions and to Dr. Joseph Vandiver

and Dr. Richard K. McGee for their guidance.



Acknowledgements.. ........... .................... 11
List of Tables..... ............................. v

Abstract................... ..... .... .... .... vi1

Introduction.................................... 1

Cognitive Structure and Prejudice............... 7
Authoritarianism..................... .8
Personal Construct Theory................. 15
Dogmatism .. .. .. . 22
Concrete-Abstract Belief Systems.......... 25
Complexity.......................... 30
Summary of Cognitive Structure............ 35

Stereotypic Judgments and Cognitive Structure... 41
Intolerance of Ambiguity.................. 41
Categorization....................... 47

Information Use and Cognitive Structure......... 54
Information Seeking....................... 54
Cue Utilization .................. ......... 57

Conceptualization.......................... 62
What is Prejudice?...................... 62
Race and Beliefs.......................... 66
Cue Utilization in Prejudice.............. 71
Criterion...................... ........ 78

The Environment and Prejudice................... 81

Norms and Prejudice.................... 81
Interracial Contact in the
Community.............................. 85
Interracial Contact .in the
Laboratory............................. 97

The Experiment.............................. 101
Introduction. ................... .......... 101
The Research Setting...................... 107
Sampling......................... ..... 111
Instruments.............................: 112
Procedure.. .................. ............. 117


Results..............., ................... ..... 122

Prejudice upon Entering the
Institution............................. 122
Living Areas............'.................. 124
Sampl in-g................... ............... 126
Prejudice Change Scores................... 127
Residual Gain Scores...................... 135

Discussion.................. ......... ........., 141

Prejudice upon Entering the
Institution............................. 141
Changes in Prejudice...................... 145
Machiavellianism................... ....... 150
Self-Esteem.............................. 156
Dimensionality.. .......................... 158
Prejudice Scores ................... ....... 162

Summary.................,,...........,......... ... 169
Tab~les......................... ......... .... 179

Appendices.......................... ........., 201

Appendix A: Rating of Acquaintances........ 201
Appendix B: Rating of,Types............... 223
Appendix C: Kiddie Mach Scale............. 230
Appendix D: Interview Schedule............ 234
Appendix E: Group Questionnaire........ ... 235
References.................................. 245

Biographical Sketch............................. 256


Table Page

1 Percentage of Black and White
Inmates in Each Dormitory................ 180

2 Adjectives Employed in Rating of
Acquaintances Scale and their Source..... 181

3 Mean Prejudice Scores Upon Entering
the Institution.......................... 182

4 Analysis of Variance for Prejudice
Upon Entering Institution................ 183

5 Mean Prejudice` Scores (ROT) Upon
Entering the Institution................. 184

6 Living Area Differences in Predictor
Variables and Prejudice Upon Enter-
ing the Institution. ......... ........... 185

7 T-Tests of Total Sample for Differ-
ences in Groups Based on Change Scores... 186

8 T-Tests between Blacks and Whites on
Predictor and Dependent Variables........ 187

9 T-Tests for Differences in Groups of
White Subjects based on Prejudice
Change Scores............................ 188

10 T-Tests for Differences in Groups of
Black Subjects based on Prejudice
Change Scores................... ....... 189

11 Correlation Matrix....... ................ 190

12 Step Wise Regression Analysis for
Entire Sample..... .................. ..... 191

13 Step Wise Regression Analysis of Predic-
tor Variables for White Inmates on Prej-
udice Change............ ................. 192

Table Page

14 Stepwise Regression Analysis of
Predictor Variables for Black
Inmates on Prejudice Changes......... ..... 193

15 T-Tests of Total Sample for Dif-
ferences between Groups based on
Residual Change Scores.................... 194

16 T-Tests of White Sample for Dif-
ferences in Groups based on
Residual Change Scores.................... 195

17 T-Tests of Black Subjects for Differ-
ences in Groups based on Residual
Change Scores..... ...................... .. 196

18 Mean Residual Change Scores............... 197

19 Step Wise Regression Analysis on
Residual Change Scores for Inmates
in 2-Men Cells........... ................. 198

20 Step Wise Regression Analysis on
Residual Change Scores for Inmates
in 8-Men Cells............ ................ 199

21 Step Wise Regression Analysis on
Residual Change Scores for Inmates
in Dorms............. ..................... 200

Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the
Graduate Council of the University of Florida in Partial
Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy



Linda A. Foley

December, 1974

Chairman: Robert C. Ziller
Major Department: Psychology

The purpose of this study was to determine the

influence of personality and situational factors on changes

in prejudice. The environment studied was a state prison.

The subjects were inmates admitted to the institution during

a 1 month period. The situations were defined in terms of

the norms as perceived by the residents of the different

living areas. Subjects were pre-tested for cognitive com-

plexity, self-esteem, and attitudes toward people in general.

Interracial attitudes of these subjects were then measured

at two time periods as the subjects entered the institution

and three weeks later as they proceeded through the social


The hypotheses were: 1) Individuals with low

cognitive complexity are greatly influenced by norms and

authority and therefore would have a greater change in atti-

tude reflecting the norms of the environment; 2) Individuals

with low self-esteem are more easily influenced and also

would show a greater change in attitudes, reflecting the

norms; 3) Individuals with positive attitudes toward people

in general are more likely to decrease in prejudice and those

with negative attitudes toward people in general are more

likely to increase in prejudice over time.

The data indicate that negative attitudes toward

people in general is the most important predictor of level

of prejudice and one of the best predictors of an increase

in prejudice. The effect of attitudes toward people in gen-

eral holds true regardless of the norms of the situation or

the race of the individuals.

Although the present data indicates that low cogni-

tive complexity was correlated with prejudice upon entering

the institution, it was predictive of prejudice only in inter-

action with other variables. Low cognitive complexity is

predictive of extreme judgments with norms determining the

direction of the judgments. Cognitive complexity was the

strongest and most consistent predictor of prejudice change,

through its relationship to conformity. Low complexity sub-

jects tended to change their level of prejudice in order to

reflect the norms of their living area.

Although the hypothesis concerning self esteem was

supported, the scale response was confounded by the subject's


level of complexity. Therefore the results must be accepted

with extreme caution.

The relationship between cognitive complexity and

prejudice is reversed for blacks entering the institution,

reflecting the different norms for blacks in our culture.

The more conforming, low dimensionality blacks, are the least


The dynamics of change are also different for

blacks and whites. Blacks who increased in prejudice appeared

to do so in reaction to interaction with a negatively eval-

uated white. A black having a bad experience with a particu-

lar white tends to generalize his evaluation to whites in

general, demonstrating the rational development of prejudice
in blacks.


A controversy has persisted for the last decade

among prominent researchers in the area of prejudice.

The controversy has centered around the basis for intol-

erance. Two conflicting points of view have developed;

one maintains that prejudice is a function of perceived

differences in beliefs, the other contends that prejudice

is a function of group membership. Rokeach, the main pro-

ponent of the former position presented his theory in The

Open and Closed Mind (1960). In that book he reported
two studies (Rokeach, Smith & Evans, 1960) which investi-

gated the possibility that ethnic and racial discrimina-

tion did not differ from discrimination due to differences

in perceived beliefs and that differences in perceived

beliefs may be the major source of social discrimination.

The subjects were requested to rate pairs of stimulus

persons on a 9-point scale ranging from "I can't see

myself being friends with such a person" to "I can very

easily see myself being friends with such a person."

The stimulus persons varied in race and beliefs in one

study and in race and religion in the second study.

Each characteristic was varied on two dimensions, being

either the same as the subject or different from the subject.

The stimulus persons were presented in pairs, pitting

belief characteristics against race characteristics.

The subjects showed a preference for friendship
with a Negro who agreed with them over a white who dis-

agreed on each of the eight issues presented. However,

2 to 20 percent of the subjects responded primarily to

race or ethnic group on each of these issues. The con-

clusion of the authors was that subjects discriminate

primarily on the basis of belief congruence, not on racial

or ethnic group membership. An alternative explanation is

that there were more belief discriminating people~ than race

discriminating people in the study. Although subjects were

pretested for prejudice, their responses to these items did

not covary with prejudice ratings. In addition the forced-

choice design of this study made it very transparent, tend-

ing to increase socially desirable responses.

Triandis (1961) takes Rokeach to task for general-

izing his findings to the area of prejudice, maintaining
that the results can accurately be applied only to friend-

ship choices. He further contends that prejudice and dis-
crimination are more accurately applied to areas of greater

social distance. These areas he illustrates as acceptance

into a neighborhood or into a university.

To demonstrate his position, Triandis examined

Rokeach's hypothesis in terms of varying amounts of social

distance. He employed 16 stimulus persons who varied in

race, religion, occupation, and belief system. Morris'

(1956) "13 ways to live" were defined as the belief sys-

tems. The race, religion, and belief system were either

the same as, or different from, the subject's. The occu-

pation of the stimulus person was either bank manager or

coal miner. Each subject rated each of the 16 stimulus

persons on 15 items of the social distance questionnaire.

Triandis' data indicate that race was a much more impor-

tant determinant of social distance than any one of the

other factors, although all of the factors accounted for

significant amounts of variance.

Rokeach (1961) replied with an attack on Triandis'

descriptions of philosophies, maintaining that they were

vague and not salient to the subjects, thereby making the

study irrelevant to the issue. Rokeach's original find-

ings were supported by Byrne and Wang in 1962. However,

the dependent variables (friendship and desire to work

with) are simliar to that of Rokeach (friendship) and thus

are subject to the same criticism.

Stein, Hardyck, and Smith (1965) entered the con-

troversy in an attempt to resolve it. These authors attri-

bute the different results to differences in methodology

and attempt to reconcile the divergent findings with im-

proved methods. Of primary concern to these authors was

the desire to have the stimulus persons appear more real

to the subjects. The subjects, all ninth-graders, were

pretested to determine their attitudes about teenagers in

general. The stimulus persons were then varied in similar-

ity to these attitudes, which the authors used as their

belief congruence manipulation. The age and sex of the

stimulus person was always the same as that of the subject.

The stimulus persons were presented as having beliefs sim-

ilar to, or different from, those of the subject. The race

of the stimulus person was either black (different) or

white (same). All subjects were white.

The stimulus persons were rated by the subjects on

both a social distance scale and a five-point measure of

friendly feelings. The data indicate that similarity of

belief accounted "for the major portion of variance in

prejudice." When the subjects were given no information

about the beliefs, but were given information about race,

race was the determinant of reactions. However, when ex-

tensive information on beliefs was given to the subjects,

they reacted primarily to belief information. There were

three items on the social distance scale in which the race

effect is significant at the .001 level: "invite him home

to dinner," "live in the same apartment house," "have him

date my sister (brother)." The authors feel that these

are "sensitive" areas involving "publicly visible relationships."

These behaviors are conditions for what Rokeach refers

to as institutionalized prejudice.

Triandis' (1961) main objection to the work by

Rokeach is that the scale used to measure the dependent

variable employed only positive items. He feels that lack

of friendly behavior is not the sole component of preju-

dice, negative behaviors are also involved. Triandis and

Davis (1965) feel that Stein, Hardyck, and Smith also over-

look this aspect of prejudice in their research by employ-

ing only positive items in their social distance scale.

In his research Triandis has employed a behavioral

'differential scale. Factor analyzing this scale, he obtained

five clusters of behaviors in which subjects indicated they

would participate with the stimulus persons (Triandis, 1964).

These behaviors varied in the degree of intimacy from formal

social acceptance through marital acceptance. Different

patterns of variables accounted for the variance in each of

the factors, with race the major determinant of variance in

the social distance factor. These social distance items

are very similar to those of Stein, Hardyck, and Smith (1965),

which they labeled sensitive areas involving institutional-

ized prejudice. These latter authors also report race as

being highly significant in determining the variance in

these items.

In a later attempt to reconcile differences be-

tween the race and belief factions, Triandis and Davis

(1965) defined 11 types of subjects, 2 of which were

strongly prejudiced. These types'were defined on the

basis of patterns of responses to 8 stimulus persons, 35

issues and terms, 2 F scale measures, 10 tolerance for

minorities, and 10 criticisms of social institutions items.

Of the two types of subjects who were prejudiced, one group

was race prejudiced (the authors refer to this as conven-

tional prejudice) and one group was termed belief prejudiced.

The Triandis prototype was characterized by prejudice in in-

timate situations (acceptance for marriage, dating, etc.)

and the subjects responded primarily in the way Triandis de-

seribed (race prejudice), while the Rokeach prototype occurred

in non-intimate situations where belief prejudice prevailed.

However, in behaviors of intermediate intimacy, subjects who

were belief prejudiced could be differentiated from subjects

who were race prejudiced. This seems to be a matter of indi-

vidual differences. Thus Triandis and Davis conclude that

certain personality variables are correlated with prejudice

which is reflected in behavior intentions.


As Triandis (1961) points out, prejudice is a

very complex phenomenon. Basic to an understanding of

this phenomenon is an understanding of the individuals

involved. The above mentioned studies have shed much

light on how the target of prejudice and how the situa-

tion influences such attitudes. However, only the last

study has focused attention on how individuals differ in

their prejudice.

A more recent study by Brigham and Severy (1973)

defines three prejudice types. These types were defined

on the basis of their responses to the Multifactor Racial

Attitude Inventory developed by Cook and his associates,

and to the Crowne-Marlowe social desirability scale. Per-

sons were differentiated in terms of their patterns of

responses. The three types of prejudiced persons are de-

scribed as policy prejudiced, personal contact prejudiced,

and status prejudiced.

Rokeach (1960) differentiates between the content

of beliefs and the structure of beliefs. However, his re-

search and that of Triandis (1961, 1964), Stein, Hardyck,

and Smith (1965), and Byrne and Wong (1962) center on the

content of beliefs. Individual differences in the struc-

ture of beliefs have been found to be correlated highly

with prejudice. Thought processes which are character-

ized as extremely rigid, concrete, and simplex have been

found to predominate among prejudiced subjects (Rokeach,

1960; Adorno et al., 1950). A series of theoretical and

empirical studies have addressed the question of individ-

ual differences in belief structure as related to preju-

dice. A review of the work in this area follows.


During the 1940's four social scientists from the

University of California at Berkeley engaged in extensive

empirical and theoretical research in an attempt to estab-

lish the personality variables which accompany anti-Semitic

attitudes (Adorno et al., 1950). These attitudes were

examined closely and identifying dimensions isolated. On

the basis -of these dimensions an anti-Semitic (A-S) atti-

tude scale was devise Noting the heterogeneity of Jewish

people and anti-Semitic reactions indicating that "all Jews

are ." suggested the hypothesis that perceptions of

Jews depend more on individual difference factors of the

perceiver than on the characteristics of the perceived per-

A basic personality type, the authoritarian per-

sonality, with a constellation of organized beliefs was

examined in an attempt to pinpoint the personality factors.

The authoritarian personality was postulated to have nine

components: conventionalism, authoritarian aggression,

authoritarian submission, power and toughness, anti-intra-

ception, superstition and stereotypy, destructiveness and

cynicism, projectivity, and over-concern with sex. The

personality of the individual was described as enduring,

but the authors emphasized that personality is a predispo-

sition to behave in certain ways rather than behavior it-


Evidence accumulated which indicated that individ-

uals who were hostile toward d'ne minority group tended to

be hostile toward other minority groups. Gradually the

focus of this theoretical orientation expanded from the

study of anti-Semitism to the study of ethnocentrism.

Ethnocentrism is a "general cultural narrowness." The

ethnocentric individual has a general tendency to accept

those who are culturally like him and to reject those who

are culturally unlike him. Prejudice was felt to be a

negative feeling against a specific group. By referring

to general out-groups, ethnocentrism shifted.the emphasis

from race to ethnic groups.

In 1950, the culmination of the researchers'

work was published in book form. The Authoritarian Per-

sonality is comprehensive; it includes attitude scales

with item analyses, clinical interviews, insights, and

theoretical rationale. Authoritarianism is reported to

be highly, correlated with anti-Semitism, ethnocentrism,

and politico-economic conservatism. Ethnocentrism is
described as related to stereotypy, rigidity, and concrete-

ness in thinking.

The cognitive personality organization of the au-

thoritarian personality is described in terms of several

dimensions. The dimensions are: rigidity-flexibility,

intolerance-tolerance of ambiguity, pseudoscientific-sci-

entific, anti-intraception-intraception, suggestible-

autonomous, and autistic-realistic thinking in goal behavior.

These dimensions are extremes of continuums; specifically

they are not mutually exclusive categories. A high score
on the first and a low score on the second denotes author-

it~arianism. Intolerance of ambiguity and rigidity are re-

ported to be highly characteristic dimensions of the

Neither rigidity nor intolerance of ambiguity is

specifically defined, but both are implied through descrip-
tioNis of behavior associated with them. Rigidity is a

manner of behavior engaged in by a person with a high

intolerance of ambiguity; high intolerance is inferred

when a person avoids ambiguous and unstructured situa-

tions. The constructs are interesting, but the defini-

tions are circular, and the authors' psychoanalytic

orientation is apparent. The person who possesses the

cognitive personality organization of the authoritarian

tends toward "totalitarian-moralistic typologizing."

He tends to conceptualize a variety of stimuli dichoto-

mously (e.g., there are two kinds of people--clean and

dirty). These stimuli vary from sex roles and moral

values to social stimuli (stereotypes).

The authors devised a number of scales to measure

the components of the authoritarian personality. These

scales, in order of development, were: A-S scale (anti-

Semitism), E scale (ethnocentrism), P-E-C scale (politico-

economic conservatism) and F scale (fascism). With the

exception of three items on the P-E-C scale, all the items

are worded in the same direction. This construction has

led critics to contend that these scales measure acquies-

cent responses rather than aspects of authoritarianism

(Bass, 1955).

The construction of the measurement scales confounds

the assumed results. Political conservatism is shown to

correlate positively with authoritarianism. However, the

items are closely similar and could easily be switched

(Hyman & Sheatsley, 1954). The authors also eliminated

items from the F scale which did not correlate with the

A-5 scale. The correlation between the two scales was

used, however, as evidence that fasdism and anti-Semitism

are related.

The theoretical orientation of the authors was

highly psychoanalytical, and their theorizing reflected

that influence. They attempted to integrate the advan-

tages of the depth of clinical case study with the exact-

ness of statistical analysis. Unfortunately both

methodologies suffered in the union. The questionnaire

data were validated by in-depth interviews with the ex-

treme groups. The interviewers were directed to study

the subjects' responses to th~e questionnaires prior to

the interviews, and to use the questionnaires to direct

the interview. The coding system of the projective

tests was based on the scale scores of high and low scor-

ing subjects. Both of these procedures so biased the

results that the data cannot be accepted as a test of

the theory.

A thorough critique of the methodology of The

Authoritarian Personality can be found in a chapter by

Hyman and Sheatsley in Studies in the Scope and Methods

of the Authoritarian Personality (Christie & Jahoda, 1954).

These authors summarize methodological flaws in sampling,

measurement, and analysis. Their conclusion is that

"the mistakes and limitations--no one of them perhaps

crucial--uniformly operate in favor of the authors'

assumptions, and cumulatively they build up a confirma-

tion of the theory which, upon examination, proves to

be spurious" (p. 121). These authors do not argue with

the theory, but they point out that the data presented

cannot be a basis of proof for the theory because of the

methodological inadequacies.

Although conclusions of The Authoritarian Per-

sonality (1950) are questionable due to methodology, there

is an abundance of subsequent research relating authoritar-

ianism to similar psychological constructs. For example,

the F scale has been found to correlate highly with measures

of prejudice (Martin & Westie, 1959) when the scale employed

(xenophobia measure of prejudice, Campbell & McCandless,

1951) is controlled for acquiescence. There has also been

evidence demonstrating a relationship between F scale scores

and political views (Izzett, 1971; Milton, 1952; and Wrights-

man, 1965). High F scale scorers have been shown to use

fewer and broader categories in judgments (White et al.

1965) and to be more resistant to change (Harvey & Beverly,

1961) than low scorers on the F scale.

There are extensive reveiws of the studies demon-

strating relationships between the F scale and other

variables (Christie & Cook, 1958; Kirscht & Dillehay,

1967). The F scale has been found to correlate with so

many other measures that Pettigrew (1958b)was led to think

it significant that category width did not correlate with

it. Wrightsman (1972) states that the accumulation of

significant relationships leads to "an increasing lack of

conceptual clarity and meaningfulness. Most probably, the

F scale is measuring a set of overlapping but distinctive

variables, rather than one powerful variable. In other

words, differences between individual F-scale scores prob-

ably reflect differences in education, sophistication, and

acquiescence, as well as true differences in authoritarian-

ism" (p. 380). It is important to note that most of the

studies relating the F-scale t6 other constructs have em-

ployed questionnaires. The correlations obtained could be

a function of the method of measurement and not denote any

authentic relationship between the constructs.

The contribution of The Authoritarian Personality

lies more in its theoretical and conceptual framework than

in its empirical work and scale construction. This work

has suggested, if not demonstrated, a relationship between

cognitive and personality structure and prejudice. It has

thereby op-ened the way for the integration of these vari-

ables and prompted vast amounts of research in the area.

Personal Construct Theory

George Kelly, a clinical psychologist, in attempt-

ing to teach techniques of therapy came to realize that a

frame of reference, or a general orientation concerning how

man interacted with his environment, was crucial to the ade-

quate understanding of patients. His attempt at a general

explanation developed over the course of time into a two-

volume text entitled The Psychology of Personal Constructs


The philosophical basis of Personal Construct

Theory is constructive alternativism. Kelly visualizes

every man as a lay scientist. Men construe the universe

in different ways. Any understanding of the universe is

a matter of convenience. There are infinite interpreta-

tions of the world, all of which can claim validity. Man

is always free to change his interpretation of the world.

Man, the scientist, gains an understanding of the world

through an infinite series of successive approximations.

Man "builds construction systems through which to view the

real world" (Kelly, 1955, p. 43). The world is real and

these constructed systems are real. However, the repre-

sentation of the world may be biased. Man invents and

creates the world, he does not discover it. A man's way

of organizing life is just one way of organizing it; since

he invented it himself, he can reinvent it as often as

he wants.

Each person has a representation of reality.

Human beings attempt to structure events to bring order

out of chaos. The fundamental motive of humans is to

understand the world and to control it. There are a vari-

ety of ways in which to structure the events in which a

person is involved. People can choose among various al-

ternative constructions of the universe. Kelly sees the

world as in process. It is constantly changing, and there-

fore no interpretation can last forever. He feels that no

personal understanding can last because people are always

changing. Therefore man must change his construct theory

to fit the world. If he does not change he will become

hostile, wanting to shape others and not change himself.

Kelly's theory of personality is future oriented.

He feels that man lives in and through anticipation. The

basic postulate of his theory is: "A person's processes

are psychologically channelized by the ways in which he

anticipates events" (1955, p. 46). According to Kelly,

people anticipate events by construing their replications.

This is accomplished by locating similarities and differ-

ences. In order to know what a thing is, it is necessary

to locate another thing similar. In order to discriminate,

it is necessary to locate a third thing which is different.

Since the world is in a constant state of flux, all of

these constructions are successive approximations.

The basic unit of analysis used by Kelly to study

people is the construct. A construct is a dimensions for

construing the way people are alike and different. The

whole personality is organized of dichotomized construct

dimensions. The nature of constructs is bipolar by defi-

nition. The bi polarity corresponds to Osgood's notion of

directionality in the semantic differential. There is a

definite number of constructs in each person's system.

These are built around a core of supraordinate constructs

which holds all others in place. The construct systems of

people can differ in the number of constructs and in the

nature of the constructs. The ,nature of constructs can

vary in terms of permeability, pre-emptiveness, constella-

toriness, etc.

Kelly developed the Repertory Test as a diagnostic

instrument to analyze an individual's dimensional space.

The individual is asked to judge a number of persons on a

series of construct dimensions. The individual is asked

to supply an identity~for each of the roles provided by the

tester. He then goes through the list of persons he has

named indicating in what way two persons are similar and a

third person is different. The subject's judgments are

placed on a grid from which analysis of the judge's dimen-

sional space are made.

Each person's system is composed of a pyramiding

structure of superordinate and subordinate constructs.

"Its organizational structure is based upon constructs of

constructs, concretistically pyrdmided or abstractly cross-

referenced in a system of ordinal relationships" (1955, p.

60). Kelly feels that the systematic arrangement of the

constructs of a person are more characteristic of the per-

sonality than his individual constructs. While no two

persons can have the same construction or the same psycho-

logical processes, the commonality corollary states: "To

the extent that one person employs a construction of exper-

ience which is similar to that employed by another, his

psychological processes are similar to those of the other

person" (p. 90). Kelly feels that his theory is not a

cognitive theory but a theory about how human processes

flow. He does not differentiate between thinking, feeling,

and action in this theoretical framework.

Kelly contends that an individual's perception

of another tells more about the perceiver than about

the person being perceived. An individual's personal

framework determines what that individual will perceive.

The organizational structure of the system or the chan-

nels of the system are themselves constructs and there-

fore vary in the same dimensions, i.e., pre-emptive,

constellatory, propositional, permeability, etc. The

permeability of a dimensions allows new constructs

to be added. Kelly feels that the permeable-unpermeable

dimension is more accurate than the abstract-concrete

dimension. However, the propositional-pre-emptive-con-

stellatory continuum actually includes the features which

usually distinguish the abstract-concrete dimension. Prop-

ositionality allows the individual to see all angles of a

situation and the possibility of a great variety of actions,

making quick decisions difficult. At the other extreme pre-

emption implies "utter concretism" (p. 155). Pre-emption

occurs when a person takes a ready-made stand without look-

ing at all the aspects of a situation. He does not actually

go through the process of making a decision. Pre-emption

"commits one to handling a given situation at a given time

in one way and one way only" (p. 520). In response to the

REP Test, an individual might say that two people are alike

because they are both women. While this statement has the

appearance of excessive permeability (allowing the inclu-

sion of new elements into a construct), it could be saying

that all women are the same and unlike any man in any way.

By saying they are women, the speaker has described them

completely. Kelly describes this type of construct as

rigid. Pre-emption can be used temporarily or may be a

characteristic of a construct.

Constellatoriness, along with pre-emptiveness, is

at the other end of the continuum from propositionality.

Kelly says that the constellatory construct implies dog-

matic thinking. Stereotyping falls into this category, as

illustrated by his example of constellatory thought: "Any-

thing which is a ball must also be something which will

bounce" (p. 155).

The propo s it ion al- p re -emp t i ve-co n stell a tory c on -
tinuum is only one of a number of dimensions along which a

construct can vary. However, Leventhal (1957) found that

cognitively simple subjects differentiated less among people

and perceived others as more similar to themselves than cog-

nitively complex subjects. This would infer that subjects

who were more cognitively simple tended to be more constel-

latory and have more identification. Adams-Webber (1970)

compared the measures of these three dimensions and found

them to be functionally similar, indicating that there is

no discriminate validity to them.

Bieri (1966) applied Kelly's theory of personal

constructs to the area of cognitive structure. He defines

cognitive structure as "a hypothetical link between stimulus

information and an ensuing judgment which refers to those

cognitive processes which mediate the input-output sequence"

(p. 184). An individual's experience of his social and phy-

sical world is organized by his cognitive structure which

Bieri equates with schema, controls, or styles (1966). The

individual's cognitive structure is relatively enduring.

This structure determines how an individual transforms

information into a judgment. Knowledge of an individual's

cognitive structure implies the possibility of predicting

the way that individual copes with his environment.

Individuals vary in terms of the differentiation

of their system of dimensions. Bieri is very emphatic

that the variation is in terms of dimensions, not of cate-

gories, concepts, or regions. This variation of differen-

tiation is from cognitive complexity to cognitive simplicity.

Cognitive complexity is "an information processing variable

which helps us predict how an individual transforms speci-

fied behavioral information into social or clinical judg-

ments" (1966, p. 185). A cognitively complex individual

has a highly differentiated construct system. The basis

for this differentiation is the dimensional processes as-

sumed to underlie one's perception of others. This person

tends to construe social behavior in a multidimensional


Bieri feels that dimensionality is a central vari-

able of cognitive structure. He developed the concept of

cognitive complexity as a way of describing how conceptual

systems vary in structure (Bieri, 1955). He defines cogni-

tive complexity as the "degree of differentiation" in an

individual's construct systems. Differentiation has two

aspects: dimensionality and articulation (Bieri, 1966).

Dimensionality refers to "the relative number of different

dimensions of judgments used by the individual (Tripodi &

Bieri, 1964, p. 119)." The person who employs more dimen-

sions in construing others is more complex than the person

who uses fewer dimensions in construing others. Articula-

tion refers to the number of distinctions among objects

on a particular dimension. Bieri developed a method to

measure cognitive complexity with a modification of Kelly's

REP test (Bieri, 1955).

Kelly and Bieri are concerned solely with inter-

personal judgments. Neither theorist attempts to make

generalizations to other domains. Their conceptualizations

can therefore be correctly applied only to the interpersonal



The authors of The Authoritarian Personality (Adorno

et al., 1950) concentrate on the authoritarianism manifested

by members of conservative political groups. Rokeach (1960)

noted the same qualities in leftist groups of communists as

in conservative groups and the same in religious non-believers

as in Catholics. Believing that it was not as important what

an individual believed as how he believed it, he distinguished

between the content and the structure of an individual's belief

system (Rokeach, 1954, 1960). Based on his observation that

authoritarianism and intolerance are not the sole property

of conservatives, Rokeach employed "dogmatism" as a broader

underlying concept to account for the occurrence of these

qualities in persons with other ideological orientations.

He suggests that despite variations in ideological content,

a basic structure and function can be found which is associ-

ated with dogmatism.

Rokeach (1954) conceptualized dogmatism "as a hypo-

thetical cognitive state which mediates objective reality

within the person" (p. 194). He conceived of all cognitive

systems as organized into two parts: a belief system and a

disbelief system. These interdependent systems vary in

structure and in content. The structure varies along a con-

tinuum from open to closed. The degree to which a system is

closed is determined by three factors: the relative isola-

tion of parts within and between the belief and disbelief

systems, the interdependence of peripheral and central beliefs

(peripheral beliefs being dependent on the source of the in-

formation), and a narrow organization of the time-perspective

dimension (i.e., future-oriented). Dogmatism is defined as

"(a) a relatively closed system of beliefs about reality, (b)

organized around a central set of beliefs about absolute au-

thority which, in turn, (c) provides a frame-work for patterns

of intolerance and qualified tolerance towards others" (1954,

p. 195).

The content of the belief-disbelief systems varies

along a central-peripheral dimension. The central region

contains basic or primitive beliefs concerning the self-

concept., nature of man, and the nature of the world (Ro-

keach, 1960). The intermediate region contains beliefs

about the nature of positive and negative authority which

are the source of the individual's "map" of the world.

These beliefs vary from rational, tentative reliance (open)

to an absolute reliance (closed) on authority. The periph-

eral region contains all other non-primitive beliefs. Ro-

keach feels that although the specific content of beliefs

and disbeliefs varies in different systems, there is a

similarity among closed systems in the content of the cen-

tral region of beliefs which Vform the cognitive bases for

authoritarianism and intolerance" (1954, p. 200).

Rokeach (1954, 1960) differentiates between rigidity

and dogmatism. Although they are both forms of resistance

to change, dogmatism is a broader, more abstract form of

resistance to change. Dogmatism also refers to the "author-

itarian and intolerant manner in which ideas and beliefs

are communicated to others" (1954, p. 197). Rigidity is

resistance to change of single habits or beliefs, whereas

dogmatism is resistance to change of a total system of be-

liefs (Rokeach, 1960). Rigidity is manifested in relation-

ships with things, while dogmatism is manifested in person-

to-person relationships.

Rokeach (1954, 1960) conceived of dogmatism as a

more general and inclusive concept than authoritarianism.

Authoritarianism and intolerance as tapped in the F scale

and E scale was specifically fascist authoritarianism and

ethnic intolerance. Rokeach called this right authori-

tarianism and right intolerance. He devised two scales

which he felt would measure general authoritarianism (the

opinionation scale) and general intolerance (the dogmatism

scale). Both scales employed the same instructions as the

F scale, with responses on a scale from 1 to 7.- Rokeach's

research has centered around the assumption that intoler-

ance is a function of perceived differences in beliefs, as

already described. The general intolerance scale was

therefore specifically designp~d to measure intolerance of

belief, which he felt was a more general measure than


Concrete--Abstract Belief Systems

Harvey, Hunt, and Schroder (1961), like Rokeach,

differentiate between the content of beliefs referentss)

and the structure or organization of beliefs. They main-

tain that individuals differ in both these areas. How-

ever, there is a high correlation between the content of

an individual's beliefs and the cognitive structure of

these beliefs. An individual's referents and cognitive

structure "produce a selectivity and directionality of

functioning which determines events persons are psycho-

logically opened and closed toward" (Harvey, 1967, p.


A belief system is conceptualized as mediating

inputs and predisposing the individual to construe highly

ego involving stimuli and events in consistent ways

(Harvey, Hunt, & Schroder, 1961). Structure refers to

the relationship among the various parts of a system.

Conceptual systems vary along a concreteness-abstractness

dimension. The properties of a system which character-

izes this dimension are: (1) clarity--the definiteness

of the concepts' differentiation, (2) compartmentaliza-

tion-interrelatedness of the concepts, (3) centrality-

peripherality--the degree of dependence of concepts on

a given element.

The individual's position on the concrete-abstract

continuum is determined by the differentiation and inte-

gration of his system. The more differentiated and inte-

grated the cognitive structure, the more abstract it is

considered. The abstract belief system differentiates

the world into many facets and integrates them holisti-

cally but interdependently. The concrete belief system

has fewer differentiations and leaves the elements in

greater isolation.

While varying in the abstract-concrete dimension,

cognitive functioning clusters in four.primary cognitive

patterns or systems (Harvey, Hunt, & Schroder, 1961).

Research by Harvey (1967) and his associates has uncovered

different syndromes of attitudes, behaviors, and beliefs

accompanying or underlying each of the different cogni-

tive systems. The different systems are described as fol-


System 1 is characterized by such things as
high concreteness of beliefs; high absolutism
toward rules and roles; a strong tendency to
view the world in an overly simplistic,
either-or, black-white way; a strong belief
in supernaturalism and inherent truth; a
strong positive attitude toward tradition,
authority, and persons of power as guidelines
to thought and action; an inability to change
set, role play, put orpeself in another's boots,
and to think and act creatively under condi-
tions of high involvement and stress.

System 2 [persons] are only slightly less dog-
matic, evaluative, and inflexible than System
1 individuals. However, they tend to have
strong negative attitudes toward institutions,
traditions, and the social referents toward
which System 1 persons are strongly positive.
Also, representatives of System 2 are the low-
est of the four groups in self-esteem and the
highest in alienation and cynicism, wanting
and needing keenly to trust and rely upon
other persons, but fearing to do so because
of potential loss of personal control and ex-

A system 3 belief system is reflected in a
strong outward emphasis upon friendship, inter-
personal harmony, and mutual aid. This takes
the more subtle form of efforts at manipula-
tion through establishing dependency, of oneself
on others and of others on oneself.

System 4, the most abstract and open-minded
of the four belief systems, manifests itself
in information seeking, pragmatism,a problem-
solving orientation, and a higher ability to
change set, withstand stress, and behave cre-
atively. Representatives of this system are
neither pro-rule, like System 1 persons, nor
anti-rule, like System 2 individuals.

(Harvey, 1970, p. 1-2).

Individual systems vary in what is considered

central to the individuals. The content of the central

domain determines what aspects of the individual's en-

vironment are relevant and to what stimuli the individual

is sensitive. Individual systems also differ in the

amount of dependence on external (as opposed to Internal)

forces for perceptions, beliefs, and actions. This is

very similar to Rokeach's (1960) description of the dog-

matic person being unable to differentiate the validity

of information from its source. Both these authors

(Harvey, 1966, Rokeach, 1960) describe the individual at

the concrete or dogmatic end of the continuum as accept-

ing beliefs because of the authority of the source. At

the other end of the continuum, individuals rely heavily

on all available information.

Harvey and his associates have developed two in-

struments to measure conceptual systems. The "This I

Believe Test" (TIB), a semi-projective sentence completion

test, and the "Conceptual Systems Test" (CST), an objective

scale. The object of the TIB is to dimensionalize the

individual's central concepts or beliefs. Subjects are

asked to complete in two or three sentences the phrase

"This I believe about .. friendship, religion, myself,

the American way of life, sex, marriage, etc." The re-

sponses are "scored in terms of positive and their nega-

tive orientations toward the referents and their absolutism,

evaluativeness, multiplicity of alternatives, triteness,

and normativeness". (Harvey, 1967, p. 210).

The CST is a 67-item scale which taps 7 factors:

Divine Fate Control, Need for Simplicity-Consistency, Need

for Structure-Order, Distrust of Social Authority, Friend-

ship Absolutism, Moral Absolutism, General Pessimism.

Answers are on a 6-point scale from strongly agree to

strongly disagree. The four conceptual systems are dif-

ferentiated in terms of their patterns of responses to

the seven factors.

Scoring of the TIB is complicated, and to be accu-

rate it must be scored by a trained judge. The interjudge

reliability among trained judges has been reported as .90

or above (Harvey, 1965). However, the reliability of the

scoring is contingent on the training of the judges. The

CST overcomes the difficulty of scoring, but in doing so

it lowers the validity of the results (personal communica-

tion, 0. J. Harvey, 1972).


William Scott (1966), in an attempt to clarify

the fuzziness of the concept of rigidity, distinguishes

between two uses of the word--rigidity as a description

of behavior and rigidity as "an intrapersonality construct

invented to help explain observed behavior" (1966, p. 302).

Rigidity as a descriptive concept is defined by a set of
behaviors. An invented construct may explain the connec-

tion between two concepts, but it is only an explanation

of behavior and therefore cannot be measured directly.

Since we are concerned with a mediational link between

input and output, rigidity as an invented construct is

appropriate to consider. This construct was originated

by Lewin (1936), and he called it topologicall rigidity."
Further work on this construct, by Kounin (1941), described

rigidity as a lack of interdependence, or a segregation of
different concepts within a person. Scott feels that

Kounin's rigidity construct bears a closer resemblance to

integration than to the rigidity common in psychological
research, and is therefore "evidently misnamed" (1966, p.

Scott constructed a geometrical formulation of

multidimensional space as a model of cognitive function-

ing. Cognitions are ideas people have about events and

objects. Cognitive structure refers to the manner in

which an individual characteristically interrelates

these ideas. Scott assumes that individuals differ in

the manifestation of structural properties in a given

domain. He conceptualizes the structure of cognitions

with respect to a single domain of concepts (i.e., a

particular class of objects--people, nations, acqluain-

tainces, family, etc.) without prejudging the generality

of this structure across different domains. "A cognitive

domain consists of phenomenal objects which the person

treats as functionally equivalent and the attributes by

which he comprehends these objects" (p. 262, 1969).

Scott conceives an attribute to be represented

geometrically as a dimension.* The dimension denotes the

amount of an abstract quality, or the lack of it, in an

object, and is divided into segments representing cate-

gories of the attribute that the person recognizes. An

image or concept of an object is conceptualized as the

intersection of projections from the categories of attri-

butes assigned to the object. The less attributes of ob-

jects covary, the more distinguishable the images are.

Differentiation is a structural property which

refers to the distinctiveness among objects. Objects are

differentiated in two ways: articulation and dimension-

ality. These two aspects of differentiation were first

introduced by Bieri (1966). Bieri refers to dimension-

ality as complexity. The number of reliable distinctions

made by a person among objects on a particular attribute

is called the articulation of the attribute. Dimensional

complexity is defined as the number of "dimensions-worth

of space utilized by the attributes with which a person

comprehends the domain" (1967).

Scott defines and measures articulation indepen-

dently of dimensionality. However, they both represent

a precision of thinking about objects and thus are ex-

pected to covary.

The affective attribute is a basic cognitive at-

tribute available to everyone. It dichotomizes categories

into liked and disliked. In simple cognitive structures

the affective attribute is the most important and is

closely related to other bases for grouping (Scott, 1969).

If all the attributes used by an individual are highly

correlated, he does not perceive many distinctions among

objects. The more independent attributes are from each

other, the more the individual perceives finely articu-

lated distinctions in objects. "The degree of subjective

distinctiveness among cognitive objects thus depends di-

rectly on the dimensional complexity of the set of attri-

butes used to describe them--i.e., their degree of mutual

independence" (1963, p. 69). The attributes in simple

cognitive structures tend to be not well distinguished

from the affective. A cluster of objects represents a

particular combination of attributes. The clustering

of objects in groups results from a correlation among

attributes used by the individual. The cognitively

simple person tends to cluster objects in groups without

distinguishing among them, tending to stereotype objects.

There are more dimensions in the complex structures that

do not correlate with the affective, and therefore more

distinctions are perceived among objects. An individual

who conceives objects in evaluative terms has a high de-

gree of affective salience. Scott has devised three in-

struments to measure the centrality of evaluative attributes:

an open description and rating instrument, a check-list

description instrument, and a rating instrument. Ambiv-

alence exists, according to Scott, if there are both pos-

itive and negative characteristics in an image. A large

number of ambivalent images cannot exist if there are

high correlations among attributes.

Integration refers to the relationship among images

in a cognitive domain. Cognitive integration is described

by four structural properties: affective balance, affec-

tive evaluation consistency, centralization, and image

comparability. The first two styles tend to be found in

structures of low dimensionality and low ambivalence (Scott,


Scott (1969) feels that within a particular

domain individuals vary in their manifestation of

structural properties. However, evidence is accumulat-

ing which indicates the existence of stable individual

differences in complexity across domains. Bieri and

Blacker (1956) reported significant relationships be-

tween responses on the REP test and responses on the

Rorscharch. Allard and Carlson (1963) found that the

REP test employed by Bieri correlated .67 with a Famous

Figures Test of complexity and .57 with a geometric De-

sign Test of complexity. The Famous Figures Test and

Geometric Design Test correlated .59 with each other.

These authors feel the results lend strong support to

the generality of complexity across domains. Seferi'

(1968) reports data which support the hypothesis .that

cognitive differentiation is a general characteristic

of the subject, with the qualification that complexity

is also a quality of discrimination depending on the

objects considered (i.e., increasing with an increase

in information about the object). Scott suggests that

structural properties of cognition may be general traits

reflected in a number of cognitive domains (1965), and

reports empirical evidence of the correlation of struc-

ture properties across the domains of self, family,

acquaintances, and nations (1969, 1973a, 1973b).

Feeling that Kelly's REP test was cumbersome,

Scott constructed a task to measure dimensional complex-

ity. This measure is specifically designed to measure

this structural property of cognition. It is not depen-

dent on the cognitive contents, but measures the rela-

tions of concepts. One form of the instrument requests

the subject to list the objects (nations, acquaintances,

celebrities, etc.) and specify the attributes he feels

are salient. Based on the common replies to this form,

another form has been constructed for each of these do-

mains. The second form presents the same set of objects

and attributes to every subject. Dimensionality is com-

puted on the basis of intercorrelations among the attri-

butes across objects.

Another measure of dimensionality is based on a

listing and grouping task. This task requires the sub-

ject to list a number of objects that he feels belong to

a specific domain. Then the subject groups them on the

basis of common characteristics (1967, 1969). The number

of different group combinations provides a simple measure

of complexity.

Summary of Cognitive Structure

The origin of the basic organization of the cogni-

tive structure can be traced to Lewin's field theory (1936).

The basic concept of this theory is the "life space,"

Lewin's conceptualization of the psychological field.

The life space is defined as all the affective psycho-

logical factors for a particular person at a particular
time. .The life space is composed of a number of regions

representing conditions in the person's life. Lewin
stated that in a life space the degree of differentiation

of a region is determined by the number of distinct ele-

ments in that region. This concept of multi-dimensional

space is central to the work of Sarbin et al. (1960), Kelly (1955),
Harvey, Hunt, and Schroder (1961), Bieri (1966), Rokeach

(1960), and Scott (1962, 1963, 1966, 1969) and to their

descriptions of the cognitive structure of individuals.

Sarbin describes the 'ecology as a system of dimen-

sions, with the intersection 'of dimensions called a "module."

A module is.a cognitive representation of the ecology and a

set of modules is the cognitive organization. This descrip-

tion is similar to Scott's (1962) description of a concept

of an object.

Rapaport (1957) refers to cognitive structure as

a means for organizing information from the environment.

Mandler (1962) describes it as "rules of behavior, maps,

or schemata laid down which connect various behavior and

environmental inputs."

The basic assumption underlying the cognitive

theories presented in this paper is that individuals

differ in how they process stimuli. Each of these

theories contends that an individual's perceptions of

stimuli give more information about the individual than

about the stimuli. The cognitive structure of the indi-

vidual is conceived of as a link between input and out-

put,- a standardized way of processing environmental

stimuli. There are more similarities than dissimilar-

ities among the theorists. A differentiation between

content and structure of beliefs is made in each of the

theories. While the emphasis is placed on the structure

of beliefs, the correlation between structure and content

of beliefs is noted. The cognitive structure determines

the stimuli which are relevant for a system and the objects

to which the system is open.

The biggest differences among these theories seem

to be in labeling rather than in conceptualization. Each

theory describes a central aspect of cognitive structure

as varying along a continuum from concrete (simple, rigid,

dogmatic) to abstract (complex, flexible, non-dogmatic).

The structures also vary along a number of other dimensions

which are correlated with the major dimension. The dimen-

sions common to most of the theories are openness-

closedness (Harvey et al., 1961; Rokeach, 1960),

central-peripheral, rigidity-flexibility. Each theorist

states that the list of dimensions is incomplete, leav-

ing the way open for additional dimensions. These dimen-

sions account for the variation in the concrete-abstract

continuum (Harvey et al., 1961).

The point on the continuum at which the structure

is located is a function of the amount of differentiation

and integration of the concepts (constructs, schemata,

etc.) of the system. The less differentiated and inte-

grated the concepts, the more simple the structure. In

turn, the differentiation and integration of the concepts

determine the discrimination of stimuli. A highly differ-

entiated structure discriminates more among stimuli than

a relatively undifferentiated structure, which tends to

categorize and stereotype stimuli. The organizational

characteristics described apply to a single concept, to

a domain, and to the total system. Harvey, Hunt, and

Schroder (1961) and Scott (1969) specifically state that

the variations on the concrete-abstract continuum could

differ for different domains within the same person. But

research (Allard & Carlson, 1963; Bieri & Blacker, 1956;

Scott, 1973a; Scott, 1973b) indicates the existence of

stable individual differences in structural properties

across domains, and Scott suggests that individuals are

predisposed to perceive events in a simple or in a complex

The various measures of the concrete-abstract

dimension have been shown to relate in a specific manner

(Harvey, 1966). The F scale has been shown to correlate
with the D scale. However, the D scale is more inclusive

than the F scale and does not differentiate between Sys-

tem 1 and System 2 individuals in the Harvey, Hunt, and

Schroder model. The F scale has been demonstrated to be

a reliable measure of System 1 functioning, but it does

not correlate with the TIB or CST because a low score in-

cludes System 2 and System 4 individuals. The systems

are best distinguished by a combination of the F and D

scales. System 1 persons tend to have high scores on

both scales, System 2 persons tend to have low F scores

and high D scores, System 3 persons tend to have middle

scores on both scales, and System 4 persons have low

scores on both.

Scott (1959) reports no correlation between di-

mensionality from his listing and grouping method and

an adaptation of Kelly's REP test. He attributes this

to the difficulty and tediousness of the REP test.

Using a modification of Kelly's REP test, Harvey's

system breakdown has been shown to correlate with complex-

ity, System 4 individuals being most complex and System 1

persons least complex. The correlation between Harvey's

system breakdown and Kelly's REP test cannot be taken to

imply a correlation between all the structural properties

enumerated by Scott. Kelly's REP test is actually only a

measure of dimensional complexity, one aspect of differ-

entiation according to Bieri (1966) and Scott (1969).

Scott feels that articulation should vary with dimension-

ality, and he reports that in each of four domains stud-
ied affective balance and affective evaluative consistency

tended to be found in structures of low dimensionality

and low ambivalence of images (1969).

Vannoy (1965) reports a correlation of .20 between

Bieri's measure of cognitive complexity and authoritarian-

ism. Subjects scoring on the Gough-Sanford (1952) Scale

of Rigidity were shown to decrease in rigidity as they

progressed from concreteness *to abstractness (Harvey, 1966).

Resistance to change (rigidity) has also been demonstrated

to correlate with the F scale (Meschel & Schopler, 1959)

and with simple cognitive structure (Scott, 1962).

This research seems to indicate a correlation be-

tween dogmatism, concreteness, rigidity, and simplicity,

operationally as well as conceptually.


Intolerance of Ambiguity

Using the autokinetic effect as an ambiguous
situation, Sherif (1936) reported that subjects imposed

structures on the stimuli,.gradually stabilizing their

judgments. Block and Block (1951) noted the individual

differences in the number of trials in which subjects

stabilized their judgments in Sherif's experiment, and

they looked for underlying causes. They maintained that

a "tendency toward closure or need to structure is used

as a coping device by individuals with an intolerance of

ambiguity." The Blocks therefore feel it would follow

that subjects who establish their norms quickly will have

more intolerance of ambiguity or more need for structure

than subjects who take a longer time to establish their

norms. The contention is that "the rapidity with which

an ambiguous situation is structured represents an opera-

tional manifestation of intolerance of ambiguity" (p. 304).

Frenkel-Brunswik (1949) described the individual

who was intolerant of ambiguity as using rigid categories,

and arriving at "premature closure as to evaluative aspects,

often at the neglect of reality" (p. 115). The person

had a tendency to dichotomize evaluations and hence was

predisposed to black-white judgments. She further con-

tended that intolerance of ambiguity might be apparent

in perceptual-cognitive motor areas as well as in inter-

personal or social areas. These individuals avoided

ambiguous or unstructured situations. In addition, am-

biguous or unstructured situations were perceived by

these individuals in simplistic terms. Frenkel-Brunswik

suggested that tolerance-intolerance of ambiguity was a

personality variable associated with the authoritarian


Block and Block (1951) tested Frenkel-Brunswik's

hypothesis that intolerance of ambiguity was related to

ethnocentrism. In a study patterned after Sherif's, the

authors found that the data "support the hypothesis that

intolerance of ambiguity as manifested by rapid establish-

ment of a frame of reference is positively related to the

degree of ethnocentrism as measured by the Berkeley Ethno-

centrism Scale" (p. 309).

O'Connor (1952) found a correlation between ethno-

centrism and intolerance of ambiguity in 57 Harvard under-

graduates. Ethnocentrism was also found to be related to

poor reasoning ability, even when grades were controlled.

Intolerance of ambiguity was related to reasoning ability

only if accompanied by ethnocentrism.

Steiner (1954) demonstrated that subjects with

high scores on the E scale had a tendency to reject the

possibility that the same person could possess highly

desirable and highly undesirable traits. Steiner con-

cluded that ethnocentric persons had a low tolerance of

"trait inconsistency." A replication of this study

(Steiner & Johnson, 1963) demonstrated the same tendency

in persons with high F scores.

Foulkes and Foulkes (1965) compared high scores

on the D scale to low scorers in their tolerance of trait

inconsistency. These authors found that high scorers had

a low tolerance of trait inconsistency, and tended to

avoid compromise solutions. When presented with new in-

formation which was discrepant, the high scorers either

changed greatly or adhered to their original impression.

The study by Steiner and Johnson (1963) also gave contra-

dictory information about stimulus persons to subjects.

Twenty-four subjects were given initially favorable im-

pressions of two stimulus persons in a laboratory situa-

tion. During a second interaction, the first stimulus

person presented an undesirable impression and the second

stimulus person gave a desirable impression similar to the

first. Subjects scoring high on the F scale continued to

rate the two stimulus persons about equally favorably.

Low scorers lowered their ratings of the stimulus person

who made a less desirable second impression, and the

final ratings of the second stimulus person were more

unequal than those by the high scorers. Foulkes attri-

buted the difference in responses to the fact that his

study used a striking reversal of information, while

Steiner and Johnson used a moderate reversal of infor-

mation. His conclusion was that high dogmatic scorers

resisted change or completely changed their initial im-

pression if there was a striking reversal in information.

They were resistant to change if there was a moderate

reversal in information.

The scale used on the first experiment was the D

scale, and in the second experiment it was the F scale.

The CST discriminates between'these tests with the F

scale subjects being more concrete than the D scale sub-

jects. The difference in response to the inconsistent

information could be a result of the differences in sub--

jects as well as in the amount of reversal. The informa-

tion given in Steiner and Johnson's (1963) experiment was

of two different types which could also account for the

conflicting results. This possibility will be further

explored in Section IV on cue utilization.

Mayo and Crockett (1964) found that cognitively

complex and simple judges did not differ in their initial

impressions. However, on the second impression the low

complexity judges showed a striking recency effect. The

impressions of the high complexity judges were more ambi-
valent. The authors interpreted these results as an

attempt on the part of low complexity judges to maintain

a univalent impression.

In an attempt to study the effect of cognitive

dissonance on extremes of cognitive structures, Harvey

and Ware (1967) presented concrete and abstract subjects

with positive and negative descriptions of stimulus

persons' behavior. The descriptions of the stimulus

person's present behavior ran counter to the description

of his past behavior. Subjects were requested to write

a two paragraph explanation of the perceived inconsis-

tency. Concrete subjects perceived more inconsistencies

between the past and the present behavior, but gave fewer

explanations of the inconsistencies. The authors described
these subjects as attempting to neutralize the inconsis-

tencies by attributing temporal change to the stimulus

person. The subjects were also more likely to feel the

possession of positive and negative characteristics as
"mutually exclusive." The concrete subjects also gave

"poorly integrated accounts" of the inconsistencies and

used more stereotypic labels in their explanations.

Kleck and Wheaton (1967) demonstrated that high

dogmatic scorers had less recall of inconsistent

information than low dogmatic scorers. They also pre-

ferred consistent information and tended to evaluate

consistent information more positively.

The conceptualizations of cognitive structure

already presented (Rokeach, 1960; Harvey et al., 1961;

Kelly, 1955; Bieri, 1966; Scott, 1969) all described the

simple cognitive structure as having concepts or constructs

which were more interdependent than those of the complex

cognitive structure. Kelly's REP test and its modification

by Bieri (1966) operationally defined a simple cognitive

structure as one which uses two or more concepts in an

equivalent manner. Halverson (1970) maintains that this

is a result of a high dependence on the evaluation dimen-

sion as a basis for judgments." Highly complex structures

employ many dimensions of judgments besides the evaluative

one (Scott, 1962, 1963) because they have more differenti-

ated perceptions of others and more differentiated inter-

personal concepts. Low complex persons are characterized

by Harvey (1965) as having a "greater tendency toward more

extreme and more polarized evaluations" (p. 206). These

persons find the evaluative connotation of traits as

more salient. Therefore, "good" or "desirable" traits are

assumed to belong together. For example, a person who is

intelligent is assumed to be creative because these di-

mensions are used in an equivalent manner. This makes it

difficult for these persons to imagine a person to be

both intelligent and uncreative. They have a greater

desire for trait consistency in others because they do

not discriminate between traits as much as a complex

person does.


The major conceptualizations of cognitive struc-

ture relate cognitive complexity tpo greater differentia-

tion (Kelly, 1955; Bieri, 1966; Rokeach, 1960; Harvey et

al., 1961; Scott, 1962) a relation which has been supported

by research (Scott, 1963; Halverson, 1970). Judges differ-

ing in complexity have been shown to differ in discrimina-
tions of others. Using a modification of the REP test Canr

(1969) has shown that complex judges differentiate both

positive and negative sources from others to a greater ex-

tent than low complexity judges. Low complexity judges

differentiated negative sources from others to a greater

extent than positive sources. Judges employed conceptual

dimensions of their own choice in the judgments. Open-

minded subjects were also found to be better able to dis-

tinguish between the source and the content of information
than closed-minded subjects (Powell, 1962).

If cognitively complex persons differentiate more

in their perceptions, Scodel (1953) reasoned that they

would be more accurate in their judgments. Working on

this assumption, he compared authoritarians and nonauthor-

itarians in their social perceptions. Twenty-seven pairs

of subjects, one of each pair authoritarian and one non-

authoritarian, interacted in a social situation. They

were instructed to discuss neutral topics (radio, tele-

vision, and movies). Each subject had previously responded

to the F scale and MMPI. After the discussion, using the

same questionnaire, each subject answered as he thought

his partner would respond. Results indicated that author-

itarian subjects did not perceive low authoritarian re-

sponses as significantly different from their own. Low

authoritarians estimated the highs to be higher than their

own responses, but lower than 'the highs' actual responses.

In an elaboration of this study Scodel and Freedman (1956)

had high authoritarians rate each other and low authori-

tarians also rate each other. This study found that the

high authoritarians estimated their partner as high whether

he was high or low. The low authoritarians were less uni-

form in their estimates, but placed their partners in the

middle or high range whether he was high or low. The authors

interpreted the results as indicating that high authori-

tarians' social perceptions tend to be "same stereotypic."

On the basis of clinical observations Gardner (1953)

noted that individuals differ in the "span" or "realm" of

elements which they are willing to subsume under the

same conceptual rubric. Indivicuals vary in the number

of things they are willing to call the same. The sim-

11arity to Kelly's permeability dimension is obvious

(1955). Also on the basis of clinical observation

Gardner felt that this variance in what he called equiv-

alence range was a "preferential mode" that was not de-

termined by the individual's intelligence.

He hypothesized that subjects who employed smaller

conceptual realms and therefore classified stimuli into

smaller categories would be more accurate on discrimina-

tion tasks than those who employed larger categories. He

felt that subjects who classified stimuli into small cat-

egories would be more aware of differences between stimuli.

In order to test this hypothesis, he had 50 subjects per-

form a series of 5 judgment tasks. The subjects were

first asked to put objects into as many categories as

they felt were appropriate. They were then asked why

the objects in a category belonged together. This is

again reminiscent of the REP test. Subjects were then

separated into two groups on the basis of this sorting

task, with 25 subjects in the group which had large cat-

egories and 25 in the group with small categories. On

the basis of this preliminary task, it was predicted

that the small category subjects would be more accurate

than the large category subjects in the brightness and

judgment tasks.
The hypothesis was confirmed. Subjects with

smaller categories were more accurate in their judgments

even though the population was homogeneous in intelli-
gence. Some subjects were more consistent than others
in their performance, but tegop'maswr i~i

ficantly different in each ofth ours judgmnt er tsks.n
Ga~der oncude tht "ersns are characterized by

consistent differences in what they will accept as sim-

22)iar or identical in a variety of adaptive tasks" (p.

Recently Bieri (1969~) also demonstrated that

subjects with low category wfdth were more accurate in

judgments of physical stimuli than those with broad

category width. Broad category width subjects made more
errors of inclusion than those with low category width.

White and Alter (196'5) compared high scorers on

the D and F scales to low scorers in the usage of con-

ceptual categories in the classification of stimuli. The
stimuli utilized were of two kinds: undesirable social

acts and occupational names. The high scorers used fewer
and broader categories in thei judgments of high relevance

because of their relevance to the dogmatic syndrome, i.e.,
intolerance of behavior different from the norm. The

groups were not shown to differ in the judgments of low

relevant stimuli. The method used was card-sorting,
similar to the one just described (Gardner, 1953).

The object sorting task employed by Gardner has

many similarities to Kelly's REP test. Instead of find-

ing two elements simliar and one different, subjects are

asked to sort objects into as many categories as they

feel are appropriate. Subjects are cautioned to be sure

that "the objects in each group belong together for one

particular reason" (p. 219).i Subjects are subsequently

asked why the objects belong together. Bieri (1955)

developed cognitive complexity as a way of describing

how conceptual systems vary in structure. He describes

cognitive complexity as the degreeofdfentainn

an individual's construct system. In other words it is

"the relative number of different dimensions of judgments

used by the individual" (Tripodi & Bieri, 1964). As

already described, the operational definition of the

number of different dimensions described by Bieri is ex-

tremely similar to that described by Gardner (1953) and

that employed by White, Alter and Rardin (1965). Scott

suggests that the concepts of equivalence range and cate-

gory width are the obverse of the articulation of attri-

bution aspect of differentiation.


Bieri contends that cognitively complex persons

perceive events in a multidimensional manner. Tripodi
and Bieri (1964) hypothesized that these persons would

therefore discriminate among multidimensional stimuli

more than low complexity persons. In order to test this

hypothesis, theyl asked subjects to make a judgment of mal-

adjustment on the basis of social behavior. Three dimen-

sions of social behavior aggressive body anxiety, and

social withdrawal) with eight items in each. varying from

slight to extreme in maladjustment were utilized. The

results supported the hypothesis that highly complex

judges discriminate ambiguous information to a greater

degree than low complexity judges. The high complexity

judges also transmitted more information from the stim-

uli of negatively correlating dimensions than the low

complexity judges.
This series of experiments has indicated that in

instances of judgmental tasks where ambiguous stimuli are

presented, cognitively complex judges tend to be more ac-

curate than cognitively simple judges. Simple cognitive

structures due to their fewer differentiations have a

greater tendency to include large numbers of elements in

a category. Cognitively complex structures have a greater

differentiation and are more apt to discriminate elements

in their environment. This difference in processing of


stimuli predisposes the cognitively simple structures to

large categorization and stereotypic behavior.


Information Seeking

It has been demonstrated that cognitively con-

crete individuals have a low tolerance for ambiguity.

These individuals form judgments more quickly and have

a greater need for cognitive consistency (Ware & Harvey,

1967). However, it has been demonstrated that closed-

minded subjects did not report fewer inconsistent argu-

ments than open-minded subjects when exposed to the same

stimulus material. Also, the'difference in the number

of consistent and inconsistent arguments reported by dog-

matic subjects did not differ from those reported by the

less dogmatic subjects (Feather, 1967). It would seem

that subjects exposed to the same stimuli are aware of

the same .stimuli. Cognitive structure is conceptualized

as a link between input and output. The individual's

cognitive structure determines how the input is perceived

and processed. The cognitively concrete individual re-

ceives the same input but his cognitive structure utilizes

or channels this information into psychological signifi-

cance differently than the cognitively abstract individual.

Harvey (1964) found that when subjects were

requested to judge dots with an erroneously scaled

ruler, subjects from both extremes of the continuum

used the ruler less than those from the middle. How-

ever, the reasons given for not using the ruler were

different. Highly abstract subjects were aware of the

ruler but did not rely on it. Harvey describes this as

"system maintenance through the admission of incongru-
ous events and consideration of them without undue in-

fluence by them" (Harvey, 1966, p. 60). In contrast,

highly concrete subjects tried to exclude the ruler from

their vision. Harvey considers this belief maintenance

through the exclusion of potentially conflicting inputs-.

Cognitively concrete individuals have been demon-

strated to have a greater desire for cognitive consistency

than cognitively abstract individuals. Blocking out in-

consistent information while making a decision is one way

of eliminating cognitive dissonance. Another way of con-

trolling cognitive dissonance is by selecting the type of

information that an individual seeks. N. T. Feather (1967)

tested subjects on their attitudes toward American inter-

vention in Vietnam. He then gave them the choice of read-

ing one of eight booklets on the topic. These booklets

varied in the ratio of information approving to disapprov-

ing American intervention. Subjects generally tended to

choose information which supported their previously

stated attitudes. The choice of information consistent

with attitudes was more apparent for subjects with a

low tolerance of ambiguity than for subjects with a high


Intolerance of ambiguity has been demonstrated

to be related to cognitive structure. Therefore, Feather

(1969) in a later experiment pretested subjects in terms

of dogmatism as well as tolerance of ambiguity. He found

that subjects with a high intolerance of ambiguity and

high dogmatism had greater preferences for consistent

information and less preference for novel information.

Feather tested subjects' attitudes after asking for their

preference in order to insure that the statement of their

attitudes did not influence their preference rather than

the attitudes themselves. He also employed three issues

so as to be able to generalize his results. He concluded

that both novelty and consistency influence information

selectivity and that "preference for supportive informa-

tion and for novel information is a function of person-

ality variables" (p. 249).

Driscoll and Lanzetta (1964) demonstrated that

uncertainty increased information search. Subjects asked

for more items of information when they were uncertain of

their decisions in the three types of tasks:

complex decision problems, picture identification, and

word guessing problems.

Ware and Harvey (1967) found cognitively concrete

subjects to be more certain of their decisions than cog-

nitively abstract subjects. Subjects were presented with

behavioral information on a stimulus person. Then they

were asked the probability of this stimulus person per-

forming other specified behavior, and how certain they

were of their decision. Cognitively concrete subjects

decided more quickly and were more certain of their de-

cisions on three levels of information.

Long and Ziller (1965) compared low and high dog-

matic subjects in predecisional information search. Sub-

jects were requested to make decisions on four different

tasks: work completion, concept-information, perceptual

tasks, and opinion tasks. Low dogmatic subjects were

found to delay their judgments while searching for and

utilizing additional information. They required more

time to make psychophysical judgments and were more apt

to reply that they did not know to opinion questions when

the information was inadequate. In contrast, high dogmatic

subjects.11mited their intake of information.

Cue Utilization

In the search to determine how individuals judge
others there has been evidence accumulating that information

about others is organized by the individual's own theory

of personality (Passini & Norman, 1966; Levy & Duncan,

1960). This is reminiscent of Kelly's contention that

man is a scientist organizing the world through his per-

sonal constructs. Support for the possibility of a

judge's theory of personality is demonstrated in exper-

iments showing that the trait factor structure for rat-

ings of complete strangers highly resembles the structure

for ratings of friends (Pasini & Norman, 1966).

Levy and Duncan (1960) had subjects rate 225

photographs on I of 15 traits. Each photo was rated only

once on a randomly assigned trait. A clear-cut factor

structure was found to exist among the traits. The in-

tercorrelations between the traits was assumed to be a

result of aspects of the judge's perceptual processes

rather than a result of the aspects of the photographs.

Rokeach (1951 ) asked subjects to define 5 reli-

gious and 5 political economic concepts. He classified

the responses into abstract, concrete, reified, and

miscellaneous groups. Abstract responses were those

which had the general form: "a form of government in

which .", "a religion in which ." Concrete

responses were those in which the concepts were explained

in terms of the people in the groups: "one who believes

in .. ", "groups of persons who ." The results

demonstrated that the low prejudiced subjects utilized

more abstract and less concrete definitions than the.

Other groups. There was a general increase in concrete

responses with an increase in prejudice. Differences in

intelligence did not account for the variance. This study

supports the hypothesis that people differ in their re-

sponse to the same stimuli. The aspect of the stimuli to

which they attend is different. Prejudiced persons attend

to the cue "people" who are a part of a particular religion

or government, while less prejudiced persons attend to the

underlying or abstract concept, i.e., a form of government.

Evidence that individuals use different cues in

making judgments was demonstrated by Slovic (1966). Sub-

jects were requested to judge stimulus persons' intelli-

gence on the basis of nine cues. The two relevant cues

were high school grades and English effectiveness. Each

subject was asked to judge fifteen stimulus persons with

consistent cues and fifteen stimulus persons with incon-

sistent cues. When the cues were consistent a substan-

tial number of subjects relied on both the high school

grades and the English effectiveness cues. When the cues

were inconsistent, only a few subjects used both cues.

The subjects consistently relied on one of the two cues

when given inconsistent information. The author feels

that the judge discounted one cue due to his "implicit

feelings." It would seem to be due to his own lay

theory of personality. The fact that some subjects

employed two cues when they were inconsistent could be
a function of their higher tolerance of ambiguity. It

has been demonstrated that subjects with a higher tol-

erance of ambiguity and of trait inconsistency tend to

be more~cogniti~vely abstract than subjects with a lower

Hamilton and Gifford (1970) also contend that

persons differ in the types of information they find
salient. These researchers presented nineteen under-

graduates at Yale with fifty-two profiles of stimulus

persons. Each profile contained nine pieces of infor-
mation: four biographical cuds (race, religion, class,

home region) and five personality cues. Subjects were

asked to rate each profile on a five-point scale in terms

of the degree of liberalness or conservativeness of each

stimulus person. Each subject was rated in terms of the

extent to which he used each of the nine pieces of infor-

mation. Subjects differed in the kind of information they

considered important. Subjects were grouped into types on

the basis of the pattern of cues used. The types of

judges based on cues weighted most were: (1) race, (2) no
race, culture and home region, (3) biographical, (4) con-

scientiousness, (5) race, emotional stability, and culture,

and (6) extroversion.

Wiggins, Hoffman, and Taber (-1969) tested the

hypothesis that the cue used to judge intelligence is

related to characteristics of the judges. Subjects

judged the intelligence of 199 stimulus persons on the

bases of profiles composed of nine cues. An oblique

factor analysis of the judgments revealed eight types of

judges. The authors found that cues utilized in judgments

of intelligence were related to the judges' general intel-

ligence, authoritarianism, ethnocentrism, and religious

conservatism, cognitive complexity, and educational level.


What is Prejudice?

The proceeding review has presented information

on the personality and behavioral variables associated

with prejudice in an attempt to analyze the process of

prejudice. However, the concept of prejudice itself has

not been broached. Before a clear understanding of the

process of prejudice can be attained, it is necessary to

focus attention on the concept of prejudice. A definition

of the phenomenon under observation is essential. The lit-

erature on prejudice supplies a wealth of definitions of

the concept, none of which is universally accepted.

As Richard D. Ashmore (Collins, 1970) indicates,

prejudice is generally accepted in scientific definitions

to be an attitude. It is a feeling toward a person or a

group of people. Ashmore points out that prejudice is

generally measured as an attitude and therefore is opera-

tionally, as well as literally defined as such. The con-

ceptualization of prejudice to be presented will thus view

prejudice as an attitude.

Ashmore (Collins, 1970) differentiates between

the common language definition and the scientific defi-

nition of prejudice. In common language usage an indi-

vidual can be prejudiced for or against a person, an idea,

a place, or an object. However, the area of prejudice

which is focused upon in the behavioral sciences is prej-

udice directed toward a group of people or toward an in-

dividual because of his group membership. It seems

appropriate in the context of this paper to limit prej-

udice to the study of prejudice involving intergroup


Ashmore (Collins, 1970) reviews a number of the

major psychological and sociological definitions of prej-

udice. Each definition emphasizes particular aspects of

the phenomenon. Finding consensus on some essential

factors he enumerates the points of agreement as follows:

1. Prejudice is an intergroup phenomenon.
2. Prejudice is a negative orientation.
3. Prejudice is bad.
4. Prejudice is an attitude.
(p 249)

Combining the common aspects of current defini-

tions, Ashmore defines the concept of prejudice. "Preju-

dice is a negative attitude toward a socially defined

group and toward any person perceived to be a member of

that group" (p. 253). The present author does not feel

comfortable with Ashmore's inclusion of the term "nega-

tive." Prejudice is not universally accepted as a nega-

tive orientation. The common language usage of the word

indicates a positive or a negative prejudice. And in

fact a number of social scientists (Klineberg, 1954;

Secord & Bachman, 1964; Williams, 1964) specify that

there are both negative and positive prejudices, although,

as Williams (1964) notes, negative prejudice is usually

implied in studies dealing with intergroup behavior. As
will be elaborated presently, research indicates that

positive and negative prejudices are closely related. In
view of these facts, it does not seem viable to eliminate

positive prejudice from the conceptualization in a study
of the process of prejudice.

The popular definition of prejudice focuses on
making a judgment or forming an opinion before knowing

all the facts. Ashmore omits this aspect of prejudice,

although many social scientists (Cooper & McGaugh, 1963;

Peterson, 1958; Klineberg, 1954; McDonagh & Richards,

1953; Newcome, Converse, & Turner, 1965; Secord & Bachman,

1964) emphasize this facet of prejudice. It would seem

that the formation of a judgment is an important consid-

eration when focusing on the process of prejudice.

Prejudice is conceptualized by this author as an
attitude or a judgment about a group or a member of a

group. This attitude or judgment is formed before all

relevant information is available, with the underlying

assumption of specifically ignoring, or at least not

looking for, contradictory information. Jones (1972)

feels there are three criteria necessary to determine

whether a judgment is prejudicial:

1. Is it a prior judgment? That is, was the
judgment made before all the facts were

2. Are there facts which contradict it?

3. Are these facts known to the judge at the
time of his judgment?
(p. 61)

The third criterion does not fit in with the con-

ceptualization presented abofe. Contradictory facts might

not be known to the judge because he made his judgment

before they could be acquired. However, this judgment

would clearly be prejudicial. A person who excludes

blacks from his neighborhood does not know contradictory

facts because he made his judgment before he could acquire


The word "prejudice" has evolved to the point of

having the connotation of negative attitudes. However,

prejudice as an act of pre-judging does not necessarily

connote a negative judgment. The cognitively concrete

individual, while predisposed to prejudgment, does not

necessarily make negative judgments. He is described as

having extremely positive attitudes toward those individ-

uals in authority (Rokeach, 1960; Adorno et al., 1954;

Harvey et al., 1961). This individual can be said to be

positively prejudiced toward authority figures. However,

prejudice becomes a matter of social concern mainly when

it is negative prejudice, and negativism is the area that

is generally studied by social scientists.

Ashmore (Collins, 1970) specified that one of the

aspects of prejudice that behavioral scientists agreed on

was that it is "bad." This is generally implied if not

specified in the definition. Both positive and negative

prejudice are included in this conceptualization, but the

inclusion is not meant to infe'r that positive prejudice

is good. Judging an individual on the basis of his group

membership necessarily implies a lack of individualization.

Whether an individual is perceived positively or negatively,

a loss of identity results when he is judged on the basis

of group membership and not on his own value.

Race and Beliefs

Research has indicated that concrete cognitive

structure is correlated with speed of closure (Harvey, 1965,

Block & Block, 1951), with having less recall of inconsistent

information (Kleck & Wheaton-, 1967), with having a greater

tendency to categorize (Scodel & Mussen, 1953; Scodel &

Freedman, 1956), and with having less desire for novel

and inconsistent information (Feather, 1967). It has also

been demonstrated that this type of cognitive structure has

a tendency toward polarized evaluations (White & Harvey,

1965), a low tolerance for ambiguity (Block & Block, 1951;

O'Connor, 1952) and a low tolerance for trait inconsistency

(Steiner, 1954; Foulkes & Foulkes, 1965; Steiner & Johnson,

1963). Cumulatively, then, it would seem that all these

factors would support the hypothesis that cognitively con- '

create individuals would be more likely to be prejudiced, a

hypothesis which is supported by research (Martin & Westie,

1959). Evidence also indicates that persons vary in their

utilization of cues for judgments of others. This vari-

ance is reported to be a function of the person's level of

authoritarianism, ethnocentrism, and cognitive complexity

(Wiggins et al., 1969). It would follow that to the extent

that an individual's cognitive structure is concrete, to

that extent he would employ concrete cues for judgments.

If prejudice is correlated with the concrete abstract di-

mension, and assuming that race is a more concrete cue

than beliefs, ,it would follow that cognitively concrete

individuals would tend to be more highly race prejudiced

than belief prejudiced. If this is so, then why would

Rokeach (1960) find that protesting individuals in terms

of prejudice did not distinguish those who were race

prejudiced from those who were belief prejudiced? Is
he therefore correct in his assumption that race prej-

udice is no different than belief prejudice?

Stein, Hardyck, and Smith (1965) also found that

subjects were more belief prejudiced than race prejudiced.

However, these same subjects assumed that blacks differed

in terms of beliefs if this information was not previously

given to them. Subjects judged the stimulus persons on

the basis of the amount of information given to them.

Rokeach, Smith, and Evans (1960) employ their

study as indication that race prejudice does not differ

from belief prejudice, that beliefs are the basis of prej-

udice. Triandis (1961) contends that prejudice involves

more than the lack of positive behavior, it also involves

negative behavior, such as exclusion from the neighborhood.
In addition to negative attitudes, this behavior specifies

behavior before the beliefs of the individual are known.

Prejudice assumes a judgment before all relevant

information is available, with the underlying assumption

of specifically ignoring, or at least not looking for,

contradictory information. In the experiments by Rokeach,

Smith, and Evans (1960); Stein et al. (1965); and Byrne

and Wong, (1965) the experimenters supplied all the relevant

information to the subjects before asking them for their

impressions. Ambiguity was imposed on the subjects, re-

gardless of their tolerance for it. The experimental

design eliminated much possibility of the occurrence of

prejudice (prejudging or impression formation before all

the relevant information was available). The subjects

were required to review all the information on the object

person before being asked to make a judgment.

It could be said that the studies by Triandis

(1961) and Rokeach, Smith and Evans (1960) removed any

variance in ambiguity. The subjects were given a minimum

of information and required to make their judgments on

that. More abstract individuals were not given the oppor-

tunity to search for addition information on which to

base their judgments.

The amount of information given about the stimulus

person's beliefs was a confounding factor in the method-

ology of these experiments. These beliefs are apparent

to an individual in a natural setting only after extensive

interaction with another person. This factor affects the

level of social distance, inferring contact between the

subject and the stimulus person. The subject then is in

a position of determining which individual, about whom

he has already acquired a great deal of information, he

would choose as a friend. There is an underlying assumption

concerning the amount of contact which has already taken

place. If, as Triandis maintains, prejudice occurs in

areas of greater social distance, discrimination would

occur prior to any intimate interaction, and prejudiced

individuals would not be in a position to obtain this

amount of information.

The fact that so much information was supplied

does not mean that the results of these studies were in-

correct. Rather, it indicates that the situation studied

more closely resembles a test of the contact hypothesis

of prejudice reduction than the usual situation of dis-

crimination. Individuals who are prejudiced and would

not live in the same neighborhood with a black, nor invite

a black home for dinner, would not learn about a black's

beliefs. Prejudiced individuals by acts of discrimination

close themselves to information about blacks. However,

Supreme Court rulings on equal opportunity have made more

common the situation in which whites are forced to interact

with blacks on jobs and in schools. Such is the situation

to which these studies address themselves. These studies

are actually indications of reduction in prejudice moti-

vated by increased information about blacks.

The amount of information available combined with

the choices of behavioral intentions could indicate an

unspoken approval of interracial interaction by the

researchers. Thus social pressure would be produced which

could bias the results in favor of less prejudiced behav-

ioral intentions. The fact that the studies are paper and

pencil studies eliminates much actual commitment or threat

on the part of the subject.

It is therefore necessary to test race, belief,

and belief structure as determinants of behavioral inten-

tions in a real life situation. Thereby the amount of

interaction an individual will allow before making a judg-

ment could be determined. An individual who excludes

blacks from his neighborhood would not be able to acquire

information on that black individual's beliefs and cogni-

tive structure which contradict his stereotyped conception

of blacks. It is necessary to'determine situations in

which contact can take place in order to approach attitude

change through interaction.

Cue Utilization in Prejudice

It has been demonstrated that individuals vary in

their use of cues for making judgments (Wiggins et al.

1969, Hamilton and Gifford, 1970). The cues utilized in

making judgments about an individual's intelligence are

related to the judge's cognitive complexity, authoritarian-

ism, and ethnocentrism (Wiggins et al., 1969). These

variables are indicators of the individual's cognitive

structure (Harvey et al., 1961; Rokeach, 1960; Bieri, 1956).

It would therefore seem that the cues an individual utilizes

in making judgments of others would correlate with his cog-

nitive structure.

The research by Rokeach, Smith, and Evans (1960)

indicates that people prefer as friends those who have sim-

ilar beliefs. In other words, beliefs are the primary cues

utilized in making friendship judgments. However, a small

minority of subjects were found to be more race prejudiced

than belief prejudiced. The subjects were pretested for

racial prejudice, but no differences were found between the

groups. Individual differences in cognitive structure were

not controlled in this or in any of the above mentioned ex-

periments on race and belief prejudice. It is highly

probable that persons differ in how they make judgments

which determine intentions, as they do in how they make

judgments of intelligence. It is highly probable that the

cue utilized in making judgments of others is related to

the individual's cognitive structure.

There is an obvious correlation between the intimacy

of a relationship and the amount of knowledge each individual

has about the other individual. The information available

to an individual in a relationship increases on a concrete

to abstract dimension. The first information available is

extremely concrete, i.e., physical characteristics, race, sex,

height, weight, attractiveness, etc. As the relationship

develops in intimacy, the information accumulated increases

in abstractness, the person acquires information about the

object person's beliefs. As the relationship develops

further, the person accumulates more information about the

object person's bel-iefs and in the process acquires i-nfor-

mation about the object person's belief structure.

The content of an individual's beliefs also vary

in abstractness. Byrne, Nelson, and Reeves (1966) suggest

that the verifiability of the belief is a critical variable.

It ha~s been suggested that the effect of attitude similarity-

dissimilarity on attraction is a special case of positive

and negative reinforcement (Byrne & Nelson, 1965). The ex-

pression of similar attitudes gives positive reinforcement

through "concensual validation" for opinions and beliefs.

Concensual validation is the major source of reward for a

drive to logical and correct interpretation of the stimulus

world (Byrne, 1962). The arousal and reinforcement of

this drive to be logical and predict the world is termed

"effectance motivation" (Byrne, Nelson, & Reeves, 1966).

The arousal of the effectance motivation is inversely re-

lated to the ease with which an issue can be verified.

Byrne, Nelson, and Reeves (1966) differentiate

between physical relaity (Is it raining?) and social real-

ity (Which political party has the best platform?). A

difference of opinion concerning a physical reality has

little influence on effectance motivation because valida-

tion has little reward or punishment value. A social

reality is difficult or impossible to test and therefore

greatly arouses effectance motivation because concensual

validation is rewarding. The importance of the issue was

demonstrated to have no effect on attraction. The beliefs

referred to by the paradigm in this paper are social beliefs

or opinions which are difficult to verify.

At any point in time during a relationship, the

person can form an impression of the object person. This

impression can be tentative or certain. The quicker and

more certainly the impression is formed, the less informa-

tion on which that impression is based. The speed and

certainty of decisions have been shown to vary as a func-

tion of the cognitive structure of the individual. Concrete

subjects have been shown to make quicker decisions on a

number of judgments and to seek less novel and inconsistent

information than abstract subjects (Feather, 1969; Block &

Block, 1951; Harvey & Ware, 1967). The impressions formed

by concrete subjects has been shown to be more certain and

less tentative than those of abstract subjects on three

levels of information available (Ware & Harvey, 1967).

These facts combine to predispose the concrete individual

to be less open to new information than the abstract person.

They also determine the amount of information on which

the individual will form his impression. If the amount

of information increases in abstractness over time, the

less time allowed for the formation of an impression, the

more concrete the cues utilized for the impression will

be. If the speed of decision-making and certainty are a

function of the concreteness of the cognitive structure,

it would seem that the more concrete the cognitive struc-

ture, the more concrete the information will be on which

the judgment is based. See Figure 1.

For example, an individual with a very concrete

cognitive structure would tend to attend to concrete cues

such as race, sex, or age. As the amount of concreteness

varied toward abstractness, t~e cue to which the individual

would attend would also vary in the same direction. In this

way the primary cue would vary from race to beliefs to cog-

nitive structure, corresponding to the amount of abstract-

ness or concreteness in the cognitive structure of the

individual. This is not to say that the other cues are

not attended to also, but that the other cues are most

likely subordinate to the primary cue and are heavily at-

tended to only in situations in which the primary cue is

not available.

The more abstract an individual is the longer he

will wait to form a certain impression. To the extent

Person learns physical
characteristics of Other

impression formed


open to new information

seeks new information

Person learns



Other's beliefs

impression formed open to new information

certain tentative

seeks new information

Person learns Other's
Belief System

impression formed \
open to new
certain tentative

seeks new information

Abstract Cues

.Concrete Cues

No new cues
attended to
after this

No new cues
attended to
after this

No new cues
attended to
after this

Figure 1. Paradigm for Cue Utilization in Impression Formation

that an individual remains open to more information,

the information available becomes more abstract. The

more abstract individual is more likely to remain open

to new information and form tentative impressions.

Therefore, as the abstractness of the individual's cog-

nitive structure increases, so will the abstractness of

the cues utilized for judgments.

It has been demonstrated that a cognitively con-

crete person makes decisions more quickly than an abstract

person. The individual who makes a decision about another

person when he knows only the physical characteristics of

that person must use these physical characteristics as

the criteria for his decision. If at the time he makes

his decision the only information available is the other

person's race, this information would be the basis for

his decision. The individual who takes longer to make a

decision gains additional information on which to base it.

He acquires information on the other person's beliefs. He

can therefore base his decision on this additional infor-

mation also. The person who has even greater tolerance of

ambiguity and waits even longer to make his decision has

even more information. He has acquired information about

the object person's system of beliefs. He therefore would

use this cue also in making his decision. This is not to

imply that physical characteristics, beliefs, and belief

systems are the only cues on which individuals form

impressions of others. The cues utilized vary along a

continuum from concrete to abstract. The individual's

cognitive structure predisposes him to the level of ab-

stractness for the cue utilized. But at each level of

abstractness the cues utilized are probably determined

by social learning.

The previous research in the area of race and

belief prejudice did not allow the subjects to utilize

their customary amount of information before making

their decisions. All the subjects were given all the

information available before making a decision. Subjects

were not allowed to make decisions more quickly, or to

make decisions based on less information.


Everyone has preferences for people he would like

to be friends with, marry, talk to, live in the neighbor-

hood with, etc. Is an individual prejudiced who prefers

to talk to one individual over another, or to be friends

with one person rather than another? It would seem that

the basis for his decision and the situation involved

are the determining factors. It is not which person he

prefers, but rather the criterion for his decision, which

would determine whether the judgment is prejudiced.

Can it really be said that a person is prejudiced

if he forms his friendship choice on the basis of the

other person's beliefs? There are a number of cues vary-

ing along a continuum from concrete to abstract on which

an individual could base his decision. If the concrete

cognitive structure predisposes an individual to make his

decision more quickly than does an abstract cognitive

structure, it also predisposes him to utilize the most

obvious cues--concrete ones such as race, sex, etc. If

the identifying factor of prejudice is conceived to be

pre-judgment; it would seem that prejudice occurs when an
individual makes a decision about another individual be-

fore he has sufficient information for the decision.

An individual who screened out (pre-judged) indi-

viduals on the basis of a very concrete characteristic

before acquiring additional information could be pre-judg-

ing. However, if that concrete aspect were relevant, it

would not be pre-judging. For example, if a man were to

rule out all men in his choice of marriage partners, it

could not be said that he did so because he was prejudiced

against men. It is obvious that sex is a relevant criter-

ion for the choice of marriage partners.

The criterion for a behavioral intention is deter-

mined largely by the situation. The criterion used for

the decision whether or not to live with an individual is

not the same as that used for the decision whether or

not to speak to an individual on the street. The cri-

terion differs for each behavior. If the criterion for

being friends with someone is having similar beliefs, it

becomes prejudice when information about the person's

beliefs is not sought before the judgment is made. The

behavioral situation should determine the criterion on

which the judgment is made. This criterion would vary

from very concrete in some situations to very abstract

in other situations. The cue utilized for the judgment

should vary with the criterion. However, the relation-

ship between the cues employed by concrete relative to

abstract individuals should remain the same across situ-

ations with the concrete individual tending to utilize

relatively more concrete cues in each situation.


Norms and Prejudice

Concrete cognitive structure has been demonstrated

to be predictive of making quick decisions (Harvey, 1965;

'Block & Block, 1951), seeking less conflicting and less

novel information (Feather, 1967), having low tolerance

for ambiguity (Block & Block, 1951; O'Connor, 1952) and

trait inconsistency (Steiner, 1954; Foulkes & Foulkes,

1965; Stetner & Johnson, 1963), and having low recall of

inconsistent information (Kleck & Wheaton, 1967). Indi-

viduals with concrete or simple cognitive structures have

also been shown to have a tendency toward polarized evalu-

ations (White & Harvey, 1965) and to use larger categories

and to discriminate less among stimuli than cognitively

abstract individuals (Scodel, 1953; Scodel &-Freedman,

195-6). Cumulatively these tendencies would seem to pre-

dispose the cognitively concrete individual to judge an-
other person before all the relevant information about

that person has been processed. This manner of judgment

can be conceived of as an operational definition of prej-


Prejudice as an act of pre-judging does not

necessarily connote a negative judgment. Similarly,

concrete cognitive structure, while predisposing the

individual to prejudgment, does not necessarily predict

a negative judgment. The cognitively concrete individ-

ual is described as having extremely positive attitudes

toward those individuals in authority (Rokeach, 1960;

Adorno et al., 1950; Harvey et al., 1961)--this individ-

ual can be said to be positively prejudiced toward author-

ity figures. Prejudice becomes a matter of social concern

mainly when it is a negative prejudice. The question then

is what determines whether the individual will be posi-

tively or negatively prejudiced toward an out group.

A series of studies of intergroup relations and

the reduction of conflict by Sherif and his associates

(1962) has indicated that contact produces a change in

attitudes. However, this change can be either positive

or negative, with manipulation of the situation determin-

ing the direction of the change in attitudes. These

studies were of artificailly produced groups, rather than

of already existing racial groups. However, the situa-

tional influences on biracial contact are demonstrated

also in interracial studies. Interracial contact occur-

ring in a department store (Harding and Hogrefe, 1952)

and in a packing house (Palmore, 1955) led to increased

racial acceptance in the work situation. However, there

was little generalization to other social settings. Sim-

ilarly, boys and girls in a summer camp established inter-

racial friendships among cabin mates but remained segre-

gated in areas outside the cabin setting (Yarrow, 1958).

Pettigrew (1959) found vast differences in the

amount of anti-black prejudice in different regions--

northern United States, southern United States, and the

Union of South Africa. However, there were no signifi-

cant differences in F-scores among the three areas. This

review (Pettigrew, 1959) demonstrated that southern whites

had more anti-black attitudes than northern whites.

While authoritarianism was correlated with these anti-

black attitudes, there was no significant difference in

the amount of authoritarianism in the two sections of the

country. The author concluded that sociocultural factors

in the South accounted for the greater anti-black attitudes.

The effect of the milieu on interracial behavior

was poignantly demonstrated by Minard (1952). He found

that coal miners in West Virginia were integrated below

ground and segregated above ground. However, the situa-

tion was not the only determinant of the behavior. While

approximately 60 percent of the white miners completely

reversed their behavior in the two situations, 20 percent

would accept blacks in both situations and 20 percent

would never accept blacks in either situation. It is

obvious that personality variables were also at work.

A study of a biracial camp for boys (Mussen,

1950) demonstrated that, as the result of the same inter-

action, prejudice had increased in some of the boys and

decreased in others. Statistically significant person-

ality and social differences were found to exist between

the quarter of the boys who decreased in prejudice and

the approximatley equal number of boys who increased in

prejudice. The boys who had increased in prejudice were

described as having more aggressive and dominance needs,

more hostility toward parents, feeling that their homes

were hostile and threatening, desiring to defy authority

but fearing punishment, and as more dissatisfied with the

camp and the other campers.

Pettigrew (1958b) points out the two general posi-

tions from which prejudice has historically been studied:

prejudice as determined by personality variables and prej-

udice as a reflection of cultural norms. Each of these

frames of reference has tended to neglect the other. How-

ever, he states that "it becomes increasingly apparent

that the psychological and sociological correlates of

prejudice are elaborately intertwined and that both are

essential to provide an adequate theoretical framework

for this complex phenomenon" (p. 29).

A11port (1954) states that the outcome of inter-

racial contact depends on the nature of the contact, the

type of association involved, and the characteristics of

the persons involved. He contends that it is not always

possible to overcome the personal prejudice of an indi-

vidual. After a review of interracial contact studies,

he summarized the conditions of a contact situation which

he felt necessary in order to reduce prejudice in "ordi-

nary" people. "Prejudice (unless deeply rooted in the

character structure of the individual) may be reduced by

equal status contact between majority and minority groups

in the pursuit of common goals. The effect is greatly

enhanced if this contact is sanctioned by institutional

supports (i.e., by law, custom, or local atmosphere), and

provided it is of a sort that leads to the perception of

common interests and common humanity between members of

the two groups" (p. 110).

Interracial Contact in the Community

A review of a number of documented situations in

which interracial contact has been successful follows.

The criteria for success were minimal, namely, a lack of

overt hostility and some indication of acceptance on the

part of each group for the other. The focus of this section

is on community integration, to determine common patterns

or elements in successful interaction among different

racial groups.

The well-known study of public housing by Deutsch

and Collins (1951) is an appropriate beginning. These

authors compared the attitudes and behaviors of white

housewives living in two integrated projects to those of

white housewives living in two bi racial projects which

were segregated by building. The only major difference

was in occupancy patterns; the projects were similar in

terms of location, size, and price.

Interviews with the housewives indicated that

changes had occurred in racial attitudes and behavior in

the integrated developments. These changes did not take

place in the biracial projects that were segregated by~

location. Housewives in the integrated projects demon-

strated more unprejudiced behavior and attitudes than

those in the segregated projects. These effects were

more strongly accounted for by the different occupancy

patterns than by differences in education, religion, or

political attitudes.

Deutsch and Collins attributed the differences

between the integrated and segregated projects to charac-

teristics of the situation similar to those enumerated by

A11port. There was a greater opportunity for intimate

contact in the integrated housing development, this con-

tact was of equal status for blacks and whites, and it

was implicitly sanctioned by the housing authority by the

mere fact of the development being interracial. Different

social norms were developed by the two types of housing,

with housewives from integrated projects reporting social

pressure to be friendly, while housewives from segregated

projects expected social disapproval for interracial con-
tact. White women from .the integrated housing reported

greater feelings of friendliness toward whites as well as
toward blacks. In addition, white housewives in the inte-

grated projects reported having more white friends as well
as more black friends than those in segregated housing.

The authors attribute this to~norms divergent from those

of the broader community, creating cross pressures and

therefore a greater social cohesiveness in the integrated

projects. White women in the segregated projects avoided
situations in which blacks might participate and therefore

had also less opportunity of interaction with white house-

The authors attributed the generally friendlier

feelings of the housewives living in the integrated pro-

jects to the occupancy pattern. The measures of prejudice

previous to residence in the integrated projects were

based on recall by the housewives. The inaccuracies

accompanying this method are innumerable: it is a usual

artifact that the contrast effect magnifies the change,

and social desirability influences recall. But, in addi-

'tion, attitude is far from being an infallible predicted

of behavior. Sherif (1962) reports there is no correla-

tion between individual racial attitudes and the amount

of resistance in a community to racial change. There

could be some other influence accounting for the differ-

ence in behavior between the two types of housing units.

As mentioned above, the contact situations studied

by Deutsch and Collins (1951) had the characteristics

enumerated by A11port as conducive t lessening prejudice.

A very important characteristic was also present, that is,

the contact was voluntary. Therefore a preselection factor

could have contributed to the success of integration in

these instances. It is highly probable that those indi-

viduals who have generally positive attitudes toward inter-

racial contact would be more likely to move into an integrated

housing project than those with less positive attitudes. If

we examine Mussen's study (1951), we find that one of the

characteristics of the individuals who decreased in preju-

dice was a more general satisfaction with their fellow

campers and more positive attitudes toward their parents.

One influence on the success of integration could have

been a general personality trait of those in the project

consisting of a positive orientation toward other people

in general.

Success of integrated housing is not limited to

public housing. Grier and Grier (1960) conducted a broad

study of privately developed, interracial housing. Thirty-

seven different housing developments, varying in price,

size, location, and ratio of minority group to majority

group, were studied. Each development was studied from

two to four weeks, with data consisting of interviews, ob-

servations, and files and records. There was no attempt

by the authors to study only successful projects. A vari-

ety of minority groups was studied with emphasis on Negroes,

Puerto Ricans, Mexican-Americans, and Orientals.

Interviews with residents of the different housing

developments revealed much about the social relationships

among the residents. The amount of interaction and the

tone of the interaction varied along a continuum from inti-

mate interactions and cohesive feelings reflected in commun-

ity activities to distant, formal, but casual neighborly

interaction. The variance in interaction was not accounted

for by any physical variation in structure. There were no

indications of hostility or division based on racial groups

in any of the housing developments. Most of the projects

had large numbers of children and much interaction and con-

tact was apparent among them, even if parental interaction
was characterized as limited, formal, or distant.

The authors (Grier and Grier, 1960) attributed

the success of the more cohesive neighborhoods to the

same type of factors defined by Deutsch and Collins

(1951). There were a number of community activities,

cooperative organizations, newspapers, credit unions,

etc. increasing the possibility of cooperative interac-

tion and the existence of superordinate goals. It is

apparent that more opportunity for intimate interracial

interaction exists in an integrated development. People

moving into a new area, in which norms or interracial

contact have not been established, are generally equal-

ized in terms of status. The authors attribute cohesive-

ness to the existence of common problems related to moving

into a new home.

As A11port (1954) points out, the sanctioning by

"institutional supports" of interracial contact would

facilitate the lessening of prejudice. By defining the

housing as interracial from the onset, the management

implicitly sanctioned interracial interaction. This

factor is given more weight in the case of private hous-

ing, since it was voluntary on the part of the management.

Some management were more explicit, supporting only inter-

racial activities. These latter developments were charac-

terized as extremely cohesive.

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