Three Experimental Approaches to Measure the Social Context Dependence of Prejudice Communication and Discriminatory Behavior

Beyer, Heiko; Liebe, Ulf (2015). Three Experimental Approaches to Measure the Social Context Dependence of Prejudice Communication and Discriminatory Behavior. Social science research, 49(January), pp. 343-355. Elsevier 10.1016/j.ssresearch.2014.08.017

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Empirical research on discrimination is faced with crucial problems stemming from the specific character of its object of study. In democratic societies the communication of prejudices and other forms of discriminatory behavior is considered socially undesirable and depends on situational factors such as whether a situation is considered private or whether a discriminatory consensus can be assumed. Regular surveys thus can only offer a blurred picture of the phenomenon. But also survey experiments intended to decrease the social desirability bias (SDB) so far failed in systematically implementing situational variables. This paper introduces three experimental approaches to improve the study of discrimination and other topics of social (un-)desirability. First, we argue in favor of cognitive context framing in surveys in order to operationalize the salience of situational norms. Second, factorial surveys offer a way to take situational contexts and substitute behavior into account. And third, choice experiments – a rather new method in sociology – offer a more valid method of measuring behavioral characteristics compared to simple items in surveys. All three approaches – which may be combined – are easy to implement in large-scale surveys. Results of empirical studies demonstrate the fruitfulness of each of these approaches.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

03 Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences > Social Sciences > Institute of Sociology

UniBE Contributor:

Liebe, Ulf

Subjects:

300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology

ISSN:

0049-089X

Publisher:

Elsevier

Language:

English

Submitter:

Ulf Liebe

Date Deposited:

07 Apr 2016 07:40

Last Modified:

26 Feb 2019 15:29

Publisher DOI:

10.1016/j.ssresearch.2014.08.017

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.79518

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/79518

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