The relative deprivation-gratification continuum and the attitudes of South Africans toward immigrants: a test of the V-curve hypothesis

J Pers Soc Psychol. 2006 Dec;91(6):1032-44. doi: 10.1037/0022-3514.91.6.1032.


It has long been established that there is a linear and positive relationship between relative deprivation and prejudice. However, a recent experiment suggests that the converse of relative deprivation, relative gratification, may also be associated with prejudice (S. Guimond & M. Dambrun, 2002). Specifically, the evidence suggests that the usual test for a linear relationship between relative deprivation-gratification and prejudice might conceal the existence of a bilinear relationship. This function, labeled the V-curve hypothesis, predicts that both relative deprivation and relative gratification are associated with higher levels of prejudice. This hypothesis was tested with a representative sample of South Africans (N=1,600). Results provide strong support for the V-curve hypothesis. Furthermore, strength of ethnic identification emerged as a partial mediator for the effect of relative gratification on prejudice.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Attitude*
  • Black People / psychology*
  • Data Collection
  • Emigration and Immigration*
  • Female
  • Hostility
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Personal Satisfaction*
  • Prejudice*
  • Psychosocial Deprivation*
  • Public Opinion*
  • Social Identification*
  • Social Perception
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • South Africa
  • White People / psychology*