A double‐edged sword: How social diversity affects trust in representatives via perceived competence and warmth

Language
en
Document Type
Article
Issue Date
2021-06-16
First published
2021-02-25
Issue Year
2020
Authors
Ehrke, Franziska
Bruckmüller, Susanne
Steffens, Melanie C.
Editor
Publisher
John Wiley & Sons Ltd
Abstract

Abstract Previous research has claimed that diversity erodes trust, even though the empirical evidence is mixed and restricted to ethnic neighborhood diversity. Against the backdrop of increasing diversity within the political sphere and concurrently declining political trust, we examined the impact of social diversity on trust in groups of political representatives. In two experiments (N1 = 109, N2 = 248) we tested how the diversity of political parties affected citizens’ trust in them. In line with predictions of the stereotype content model, diverse parties were perceived as warmer and less competent than non‐diverse parties (Experiments 1–2). Additionally, party diversity was perceived as having more benefits, but also involving more threats (Experiment 2). Consequently, diversity had both positive (via warmth and benefits) and negative (via competence and threats) indirect effects on trust. These results help to untangle previously mixed, for the most part non‐experimental, findings of the relationship between diversity and trust.

Journal Title
European Journal of Social Psychology
Volume
50
Issue
7
Citation
European Journal of Social Psychology 50.7 (2020): S. 1540-1554. <https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ejsp.2709>
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