Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology (PhD)

Degree Level



Psychological Science


David A. Schroeder

Committee Member

Denise R. Beike

Second Committee Member

Scott Eidelman


Psychology, Conflict, Intergroup relations, Intergroup threat, Moral exclusion, Prejudice, Social justice


Moral exclusion refers to a psychological process that removes others from our moral community--those whom we treat with fairness and concern for their welfare. The present research is concerned with how perceived symbolic threats (threats to the ingroup's values, morals, and worldview) and realistic threats (threats to the ingroup's well-being and resources) are related to moral exclusion. Perceived symbolic and realistic threats from an outgroup (Mexican immigrants) were measured (Study 1) and manipulated (Study 2) to discover their predictive and causal relationships with moral exclusion. It was found that both symbolic and realistic threats predicted moral exclusion and did so uniquely after controlling for prejudice, and that symbolic threat was a causal factor in moral exclusion. Implications of the current research for future studies of moral exclusion are discussed, as well as its implications for intergroup relations and reducing moral exclusion of outgroups.