The relationship between ethnocentric attitudes and avoidance behavior among Belgian students

Yves Dejaeghere1, Marc Hooghe1
1Faculty of Social Sciences, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium
Cite this article:  Dejaeghere, Y. , & Hooghe, M. (2012). The relationship between ethnocentric attitudes and avoidance behavior among Belgian students. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 40, 15-30.

Volume 40 Issue 1 | e2382 | Published: January 2012 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2224/sbp.2012.40.1.15

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Measurements of ethnocentric attitudes are routinely included in survey research but are often criticized because they lack external validity. In a European context there is almost no research in which the focus is on the relationship between ethnocentric attitudes and actual behavior. Most of the existing research has been conducted in North America, where the pattern of interethnic relations is different from the pattern in Europe. Therefore, in this study we investigated whether or not a survey measure for ethnocentric attitudes accurately reflects avoidance behavior toward ethnic minorities in a European context. Among a study sample of Belgian students we found that ethnocentric attitudes had a strong predictive effect on independently observed avoidance behavior. This provides support for the ethnocentrism scale as a measure that has external validity.
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