With rhyme and reason: Recognizing reasons for disliked practices increases tolerance

Maykel Verkuyten*, Anniek Schlette, Levi Adelman, Kumar Yogeeswaran

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Disapproval of others’ beliefs and practices is an inevitable consequence of living with diversity, and the ability to tolerate, or put up with, these differences is crucial to maintain a functional society. Considering reasons to condone what one disapproves of is considered a key aspect of tolerance. Across three national samples (N = 1,708), the current research examines how recognizing arguments to support practices that one disapproves of increases tolerance. Studies 1–2 demonstrate that when participants generate arguments to support Muslim minority practices (Study 1) and Orthodox Protestant minority practices (Study 2), they disapprove of, they show increased tolerance towards such practices in society. In Study 3, the importance of considerations is experimentally extended by demonstrating that perceiving objectionable behaviour as more reasonable increases tolerance. Collectively, these studies demonstrate the importance of engaging in and perceiving reasonable considerations to enhance tolerance of dissenting beliefs or practices.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)471-490
Number of pages20
JournalBritish Journal of Social Psychology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2022


  • disapproval
  • reasons
  • tolerance


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