Psychological characteristics of the formation of xenophobic attitudes



The ways of origination of inter-group conflicts have different sources: both social on the level of inter-group relations and internal on the level of individual peculiarities. One of the phenomena which explain the expressions of violence, aggressive or hostile relationships between people is xenophobia, the mechanisms of which are analyzed in the contribution from the point of view of different approaches. It examines such approaches as clinical, individual-typological and socio-psychological. Xenophobia is viewed through the prism of inter-group relations, individual peculiarities and mental disorders. Besides, the article evaluates the development of xenophobia in ontogenesis, and makes attempts to explain which changes the children and adolescents go through in the perception of “aliens”, and what can determine such changes. The principal task of the article is the familiarization with possible theories of origin and existence of xenophobia. Exactly through the different theoretical approaches to research of this phenomenon it is possible to delineate the probable ways to oppose and prevent xenophobia, taking into account the age-related developmental period.

General Information

Keywords: xenophobia, authoritarianism, prejudices, in-group favoritism, out-group discrimination, ethnic identity.

Journal rubric: Psychology of Deviant and Criminal Behavior

Article type: scientific article

For citation: Gurina O.D. Psychological characteristics of the formation of xenophobic attitudes [Elektronnyi resurs]. Psikhologiya i pravo = Psychology and Law, 2011. Vol. 1, no. 4 (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


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Information About the Authors

Oksana D. Gurina, PhD in Psychology, Main Expert, Moscow Research Center, Associate Professor, Department of Legal Psychology and Law, Faculty of Legal Psyсhology, Moscow State University of Psychology & Education, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:



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