Racial resentment predicts eugenics support more robustly than genetic attributions

Stephen P. Schneider, Frank J. Gonzalez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Recent interest in human genetics has raised concerns about a revival in support for eugenic policies. However, historically, eugenic policies have been closely tied to racism, and the question remains how much support for eugenics is due to beliefs about heritability rather than racial prejudice. Using a survey administered by YouGov to a representative sample of Americans (n = 446) in the fall of 2015, we find that racial resentment is a robust and at times stronger predictor of support for eugenics, particularly negative eugenics (policies discouraging or preventing reproduction), than beliefs about heritability, and that when beliefs about heritability matter, it is mainly in racial domains. These findings offer insight into the connection between racism and eugenics, and how the role of beliefs about heritability may be exaggerated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number110989
JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
StatePublished - Oct 2021


  • Eugenics
  • Genetic attributions
  • Racial prejudice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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