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PSYC12H3 (373)

Chapter 9

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Michael Inzlicht

Chapter 9 PSYC12 11042011 Reducing prejudice - The Contact Hypothesis o People tend to make assumptions about groups with which they have little contact or which they have little knowledge Gives them little motivation to be accurate in their assumptions, expectation, and generalizations o Contact hypothesis proposes that increasing exposure to members of various gropus can increase positive evaluations of the outgroup and decrease prejudice and stereotyping o Gordon Allport, 1954 Effect of contact will depend upon the kind of association that occurs, and on the kinds of person who are involved Important to understand the characteristics of the situation: Status of the members Role of the contact Personality of the interactants Situations in which the contact takes place For positive Intergroup contact to occur: Equal status members Common goals Intergroup cooperation Support of legitimate authority (government etc.) o Contact hypothesis has fallen out of favour due to: Confusion in that some researchers have confused factors that are essential with those that are merely facilitative in Intergroup contact, this does not speak to how this change in attitudes occurs in the contact situation Research tends to focus on when and why contact will result in positive Intergroup attitudes, but it does not speak to how this change in attitudes occurs in the contact situation Does not specify how positive feelings toward an outgroup member in the contact situation can generalize to ones feelings for the whole outgroup o Pettigrews Reformulated Contact Theory Suggests that: Researcher need to be aware that individuals bring their own Intergroup experiences and biases and their own personality characteristics to the contact situation Situation must have all 4 Allport conditions as well as Pettigrew additional condition: o Potential to become friends with outgroup members Steps involved in the Reformulated contact Theory Initial contact situation o Begin to see each other in terms of their personalities and characteristics rather than their group membership Decategorization o Groups get together through interacting with outgroup individuals Individuating members occurs and one realizes that they are unique persons and have varying opinions, similar to the variability that occurs in ones own ingroup o Outgroup category is now useless as a heuristic
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