Tolerance as forbearance: Overcoming intuitive versus deliberative objections to cultural, religious, and ideological differences.

Maykel Verkuyten*, Levi Adelman, Kumar Yogeeswaran

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Tolerance is widely considered to be a key response to the challenge of managing diversity in pluralistic societies. However, tolerance comes in a number of different forms with distinct psychological profiles and societal implications. Drawing on research from political science, philosophy, sociology, and several subdisciplines within psychology, we discuss tolerance as a process of forbearance, which has received little attention in psychology. We propose a dual-process model of moral reasoning to differentiate between two distinct forms of tolerance and intolerance: intuitive and deliberative. Specifically, intuitive tolerance results from gut-level objection toward difference that is overridden (or not, in the case of intolerance) by more careful processing of the reasons to tolerate. By contrast, deliberative tolerance involves reflective thinking in which there is a weighing of one’s reasonable objection to dissenting conduct against reasons to nevertheless tolerate, leading either to tolerance or intolerance. We further consider individual differences and situational factors that influence threat versus adjustment responses to living with diversity. Finally, we consider cultural differences involved in tolerance before exploring the implications of different meanings of tolerance and intolerance for living with cultural, religious, and ideological diversity. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved)

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)368–387
JournalPsychological Review
Volume129
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 22 Apr 2021

Keywords

  • diversity
  • dual process
  • forbearance
  • morality
  • tolerance

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