Nikhil Sengupta

Nikhil Sengupta
University of Kent | KENT · School of Psychology

PhD

About

26
Publications
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572
Citations

Publications

Publications (26)
Article
Full-text available
Ideologies that legitimize status hierarchies are associated with increased well-being. However, which ideologies have 'palliative effects', why they have these effects, and whether these effects extend to low-status groups remain unresolved issues. This study aimed to address these issues by testing the effects of the ideology of Symbolic Prejudic...
Article
Full-text available
The status-legitimacy hypothesis, which predicts that low-status groups will legitimize inequality more than high-status groups, has received inconsistent empirical support. To resolve this inconsistency, we hypothesized that low-status groups would display enhanced legitimation only when evaluating the fairness of the specific hierarchy responsibl...
Article
Full-text available
Contact with the dominant group can increase opposition, among the disadvantaged, to social policies that would benefit their group. This effect can be explained in terms of contact promoting support for an ideology of meritocracy, which privileges the distribution of societal resources based on individual merit, rather than group-level disadvantag...
Article
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Although income and inequality (objective measures of deprivation and the distribution of income within a defined area, respectively) predict people's self-appraisals, the psychological mechanisms underlying these relationships are largely unknown. We address this oversight by predicting that feeling individually deprived (individual-based relative...
Article
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This study investigated the effects of ingroup contact in a large, national sample of Ma¯ori (a disadvantaged ethnic group; N = 940) on political attitudes relevant to decreasing ethnic inequality in New Zealand. We tested the role of 2 mediating mechanisms-ethnic identification and system justification-to explain the effects of ingroup contact on...
Article
Growing evidence suggests that intergroup contact, psychology's most-researched paradigm for reducing prejudice, has the "ironic" effect of reducing support for social change in disadvantaged groups. We conducted a preregistered meta-analytic test of this effect across 98 studies with 140 samples of 213,085 disadvantaged-group members. As predicted...
Preprint
Contact theory is a well-established paradigm for improving intergroup relations – positive contact between groups promotes social harmony by increasing intergroup warmth. A longstanding critique of this paradigm is that contact does not necessarily promote social equality. Recent research has blunted this critique by showing that contact correlate...
Article
Social dominance orientation (SDO) is a widely researched construct that indexes a preference for hierarchical intergroup relations. However, it remains unclear whether this preference (a) motivates people to seek out occupations that enhance hierarchical relations between groups (i.e., occupational assortment), (b) develops as a result of working...
Preprint
Growing evidence suggests that intergroup contact, psychology’s most-researched paradigm for reducing prejudice, has the ‘ironic’ effect of reducing support for social change in disadvantaged groups. We conducted a preregistered meta-analytic test of this effect across 98 studies with 140 samples of 213,085 disadvantaged-group members. As predicted...
Article
Full-text available
Efforts to understand and remedy the rejection of science are impeded by lack of insight into how it varies in degree and in kind around the world. The current work investigates science skepticism in 24 countries ( N = 5,973). Results show that while some countries stand out as generally high or low in skepticism, predictors of science skepticism a...
Article
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People often perceive social systems as fair and legitimate in order to satisfy existential, epistemic, and relational needs. Although much work has examined the existential and epistemic roots to system justification, the relational motives underlying the tendency to justify the system have received comparatively less attention. We addressed this...
Article
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Following the March 15th Christchurch terrorist attack, members of our research team have been repeatedly asked to comment or provide summary statistics from the New Zealand Attitudes and Values Study (NZAVS) on prejudice toward Muslims. As the curators of the NZAVS, we think that these findings should be in the public domain and accessible to as w...
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In capitalist societies, individuals who occupy the highest positions in the economic hierarchy feature prominently in the political discourse under the moniker of the One Percent. However, little is known about how the psychology of One Percent might differ from that of the average person. Using a large, nationally representative sample in New Zea...
Article
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A noticeable feature of the political discourse accompanying the rise of nationalism in white‐majority countries is that white people fare worse than other ethnic groups in their societies. However, it is unclear based on the extant literature why group‐based relative deprivation (GRD) would correlate with majority‐group nationalism. Here, we propo...
Article
Political struggles are important to the identities of many indigenous peoples. This article examines identity as a predictor of crucial political outcomes—voter turnout, support for protest, and political party support—for Māori, the indigenous peoples of Aotearoa (New Zealand). We analyzed data from a national probability sample of Māori (N = 663...
Article
Full-text available
In this study, we asked participants to “describe their sexual orientation” in an open-ended measure of self-generated sexual orientation. The question was included as part of the New Zealand Attitudes and Values Study (N = 18,261) 2013/2014 wave, a national probability survey conducted shortly after the first legal same-sex marriages in New Zealan...
Article
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Objectives: The aim of the current research is to test predictions derived from the rejection-identification model and research on collective action using cross-sectional (Study 1) and longitudinal (Study 2) methods. Specifically, an integration of these 2 literatures suggest that recognition of discrimination can have simultaneous positive relati...
Article
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We aim to provide one explanation for why the link between contact and prejudice is consistently less strong for minority group members than it is for majority group members. Specifically, we propose a "wallpaper effect" such that contact works to increase minority group members' positivity towards majority groups when they live in areas densely po...
Article
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We propose and test the Social Dominance Paradox of majority opposition to minority political entitlement in a national sample of the European majority group in New Zealand (N = 4628). The paradox arises because for the majority ethnic group, Social Dominance Orientation (SDO) should simultaneously and differentially predict support for, and resist...
Article
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Feeling like one belongs and is accepted in meaningful social groups has been reliably linked to wellbeing and health-related outcomes in numerous studies. Given the importance of belongingness as a form of social capital, we developed and evaluated a broad-scale Multilevel Random Coefficient Model predicting residents’ sense of community (belongin...
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Results from a nationally representative sample of the New Zealand European majority and Māori (the indigenous peoples of New Zealand) indicated that dual ideologies of symbolic exclusion and historical negation were differentially ameliorated and heightened through ingroup and outgroup contact (N = 4718). For New Zealand Europeans, contact with Mā...
Article
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The relationship of household income with multiple aspects of subjective well-being was examined in a New Zealand telephone probability sample conducted in 2008 (N = 5197). Consistent with previous research, household income had positive logarithmic associations with subjective quality of life and happiness. The logarithmic function was steeper for...
Article
Full-text available
The Stereotype Content Model states that stereotypes express generalised evaluative beliefs that vary according to the degree of warmth and competence ascribed to group members. The present study applied this model to examine the societal stereotypes (or meta-stereotypes) of Pākehā, Māori, Pacific Nations, and Asian New Zealanders using a national...
Article
Full-text available
This study extends the Mini-IPIP, a short measure of the Big-Five personality dimensions, to a Big-Six model of personality structure based on the HEXACO. Exploratory and Confirmatory analyses of a representative New Zealand sample (N = 5,562) validated the original Mini-IPIP five-factor structure, and supported an extended six-factor model also in...

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Projects

Projects (3)
Project
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 703316. In January 2015, the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, identified deepening socioeconomic inequality as the most pressing challenge facing the world. High inequality is linked to numerous social and economic problems (e.g. higher violent crime and greater financial instability). Concern for these problems is not only restricted to highly-educated, socio-political elites (e.g. the WEF). Large-scale surveys in several countries have shown that people generally have a preference for greater equality . However, despite these broadly shared egalitarian ideals, people often oppose policies aimed at reducing inequality and support policies that would have the opposite effect . I will call this the principle-implementation gap in attitudes towards inequality. In a dramatic recent example of this problem, a proposal in Switzerland that would have restricted CEO pay, was rejected by 65% of voters, despite the fact that the ratio of highest to lowest paid Swiss citizens has increased from 6:1 to 43:1 in the past three decades . In democratic countries, public opinion on these issues matters. If people do not support policies to reduce inequality, solving this problem through the political process becomes extremely difficult. Therefore, I propose that understanding how modern democracies can tackle the problem of inequality requires a thorough analysis of the psychological processes that produce the principle-implementation gap in public opinion. This is the primary aim of the present project. On the face of it, addressing this gap might seem merely a matter of public education: If people understand the logic of the proposed policy solutions, their attitudes will change to align with their egalitarian values. However, decades of psychological research on attitude change has shown that just having accurate information is not enough . For example, studying a related phenomenon – the principle-implementation gap in racial attitudes – psychologists have found that there are various social constraints, cognitive biases, and psychological motives that prevent people from translating their principles of racial equality into support for policies to reduce systemic racism . Applying these insights to current work on inequality from the disciplines of sociology, political science and economics, the present project will lay the foundations for an integrated theory of the Psychology of Inequality. This multidisciplinary endeavour will provide insights to policy makers, advocates and educators about how to communicate the problem of inequality to the general public in a way that maximises awareness and engagement. These insights will also be applicable to understanding public opinion on other, similarly complex issues of resource distribution that face modern societies (e.g. international trade, humanitarian interventions). Thus, the current project will shed light on how some of the biggest global issues of our time can be addressed through the democratic process.
Project
Belief in a just world and well-being project is continuted further from ASEAN project by extending data collection in some Asian countries. Further, the project additionally focuses on immanent justice reasoning. The project covers almost 20 sites in Asia (e.g., mainland China, India, Hong Kong S.A.R. Japan, Macau S.A.R., South Korea and Taiwan) which have usually represented the Eastern world in most of the cross-cultural research.
Project
I am working on cultural influence on just world beliefs, well-being and other relevant variables. My current project focuses on some Asian cultures. The result patterns will be compared with the results in previous studies in Western samples.