Fair treatment and social acceptance are paramount to human well-being, yet, society often withholds these crucial needs and discriminates against certain groups, including ex-prisoners. Discrimination and lack of social support by the public reduces ex-prisoners’ well-being and threatens successful reintegration into society after release from prison, perpetuating conflict and impeding social justice. Identifying strategies to reduce discrimination against ex-prisoners and to foster prosocial behaviors towards them is therefore of high relevance. Building on past evidence, we assess the viability of a values affirmation intervention given to members of the general public to reduce their discrimination against ex-prisoners and to foster prosocial motivation towards them. Across two studies in two cultural contexts, Nigeria and the United States, we provide evidence that engaging in values affirmation can significantly reduce discriminatory behavioral tendencies, for instance in the employment sector, and motivate prosociality towards ex-prisoners, such as supporting educational rehabilitation programs. These results point towards a potential avenue for shifting the public's discriminatory views and behavioral tendencies towards ex-prisoners, in an effort to support reintegration and to further social justice.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Social Sciences(all)