CORDIS - EU research results

Intergroup toleration: It’s Nature, Processes, and Consequences for Culturally Diverse Societies


Increasingly our societies are becoming more diverse and how to live with this diversity is one of the most pressing questions of our time. In Europe, intergroup tolerance has been proposed as a key aspect of living harmoniously and productively with diversity; it is critical because objection and disagreement about what is good and right are inevitable. A diverse, egalitarian, and peaceful society does not require that we all like each other, but it does require that people at least tolerate one another. Yet, there has been very little by way of social psychological theorizing and systematic empirical research on intergroup toleration.

This research will advance the state of the art in the social sciences by moving beyond intergroup stereotypes, prejudices and discrimination, and focusing on the social psychology of intergroup toleration in which differences are endured. This new line of research will unravel the interrelated aspects of toleration. We will elucidate: (1) the underlying psychological aspects of tolerance (the objection component), 2) the psychological processes underlying tolerance (the acceptance component), 3) the limits of tolerance (the rejection component), and 4) the social psychological consequences of being tolerated. This program has a coherent theoretical framework and empirically toleration will be examined by using a combination of survey data, framing experiments, and lab experiments involving EEG. The research will provide key insights into the social psychological dynamics of intergroup toleration. This can form the basis for developing and implementing initiatives and approaches that contribute to a more tolerant society. Given the contested nature of cultural diversity and the absence of systematic social psychological investigations, the proposed research is both ground-breaking and timely.

Host institution

Net EU contribution
€ 2 205 493,75
3584 CS Utrecht

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West-Nederland Utrecht Utrecht
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Total cost
€ 2 205 493,75

Beneficiaries (1)