Testing Intergroup Threat Theory: Realistic and Symbolic Threats, Religiosity and Gender as Predictors of Prejudice


  • Ana Makashvili
  • Irina Vardanashvili
  • Nino Javakhishvili


The complex phenomenon of prejudice has been the focus of interest among social psychologists since the mid-20th century. The Intergroup Threat Theory (ITT) is one of the most efficient theoretical frameworks to identify the triggers of prejudice. In this study, using experimental design, we examined the effects of symbolic and realistic threats on prejudice that was measured by means of a modified social distance scale. The study participants were 611 undergraduate students from the country of Georgia. In addition to providing further support for ITT, the study showed that the level of religiosity moderated the effects between both types of threats and prejudice, although it had different indications for realistic and symbolic threats, while gender interacted only with symbolic threat. Implications of the findings are discussed.