Do Uncertain Times Lead to Dogma and Prejudice?

Posted on January 25, 2017

Photo: flickr

Although the 45th American president has successfully been transitioned into the White House, opposition has yet to cease and the United States has been sharply divided. This leads to a question about human nature and how one reacts to threats in times of uncertainty. It is natural to fear the unknown, but what does that do to one's thought and behavior?

Past research provides us with findings that in times of uncertainty people, fear drives away reason and unity and swivel humanity down to its primitive thinking of "us vs. them". When one is threatened, anxiety leads to dogmatic beliefs and as more people develop an in-group and out-group thought, prejudice thinking and behavior rises. This applies to both religious and non-religious people.

In a way, this type of reaction can be seen as a defense mechanism. To protect one's values and current way of life, change and uncertainty will push his beliefs and thinking into more rigidity. Unfortunately, during times of unknown that is the type of response that is most unfavorable. When faced with a divided group, the best thing to apply is patience, intellectual understanding and openness to criticism and difference. Acceptance, even agreeing to disagree, is what will help lead the people out of turmoil.

Source material from Research Digest

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