Maximizing prediction

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Description: The present research adopts a data-driven approach to identify how characteristics of the environment are related to different types of regional ingroup biases. After consolidating a large dataset of environmental attributes (n = 813), we used modern model selection techniques (i.e., elastic net regularization) to develop parsimonious models for regional implicit and explicit measures of race-, religious-, sexuality-, age-, and health-based ingroup biases. Developed models generally predicted large amounts of variance in regional biases, up to 62%, and predicted significantly and substantially more variance in regional biases than basic regional demographics. Human features of the environment and events in the environment strongly and consistently predicted biases, but non-human features of the environment and population characteristics inconsistently predicted biases. Results implicate shared psychological causes of different regional intergroup biases, reveal distinctions between biases, and contribute to developing theoretical models of regional bias.

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