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PSYC12H3 (303)
Chapter 9

Chapter 9

3 Pages
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Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSYC12H3
Professor
Michael Inzlicht

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Chapter 9: Reducing Prejudice
The Contact Hypothesis
Because people have little contact with outgroups, they feel little motivation to be accurate in their
assumptions, expectations and generalizations
Contact hypothesis: increasing exposure to members of various groups can increase positive
evaluations of outgroup and decrease prejudice and stereotyping
oEspecially appeal at time of introduction because of segregation of blacks and whites in US
Allports Contact Hypothesis
Research indicated that 50% of interactants felt more positive about outgroup and 50% felt
negative
Wilner: when whites only had causal contact with blacks, only about 33% of them developed
positive attitudes towards blacks
oAmong those whites who had many interactions and conversations with blacks, 75%
reported more positive attitudes toward blacks
Allport recognized that whole host of factors affect the intergroup contact context and influence
whether participants emerge from situation with more positive or more negative attitudes toward
outgroup
He specified at least 4 fundamental criteria must be met in order for positive intergroup contact to
occur: equal-status members, common goals, intergroup cooperation, support of legitimate
authority
Tests of the contact hypothesis
Deutsch: in desegregated public housing equal status contact between white and black neighbours
resulted in more favourable attitudes of white individuals toward equal housing policies
Works: blacks in desegregated housing projects had more positive attitudes towards white
neighbours than did segregated blacks
Pettigrew: key point of confusion is that some researchers have confused factors that are essential
with those what are merely facilitative in intergroup contact
Pettigrews reformulated contact theory
Proposed a longitudinal model of how optimal contact situation should proceed and of changes that
need to take place before individuals start to think of outgroup members as potential friends, and
as members of bigger ingroup
First, researches need to be aware that individuals bring own intergroup experiences and biases
and own personality characteristics to contact situation
Next, situation must have all Allports 4 necessary conditions and Pettigrews- the potential to
become friends with outgroup members- in order for any prejudice and stereotype reduction to take
place
Then, when ingroup and outgroup members encounter each other in an initial contact situation,
group members will regard each other with initial anxiety but then begin decategorization, and
begin to see each other in terms of personalities and characteristics rather than group membership
oDecategorization: groups get together through interacting with outgroup individuals
Established, prolonged contact facilitates salient categorization, group members begin to think of
outgroup members as representation of outgroup in general and begin to change negative view of
entire outgroup
Last stage, recategorization: intergroup context configured to encourage breakdown of us versus
them distinct categories and form broader we category by making members of both groups aware
that they have more in common on number of other dimensions
Common Ingroup Identity
Dovidio: in experiment designed to test common ingroup identity model, found when participants
in 2 separate groups felt more positive affect and when groups made to feel less distinct, through
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Description
Chapter 9: Reducing Prejudice The Contact Hypothesis Because people have little contact with outgroups, they feel little motivation to be accurate in their assumptions, expectations and generalizations Contact hypothesis: increasing exposure to members of various groups can increase positive evaluations of outgroup and decrease prejudice and stereotyping o Especially appeal at time of introduction because of segregation of blacks and whites in US Allports Contact Hypothesis Research indicated that 50% of interactants felt more positive about outgroup and 50% felt negative Wilner: when whites only had causal contact with blacks, only about 33% of them developed positive attitudes towards blacks o Among those whites who had many interactions and conversations with blacks, 75% reported more positive attitudes toward blacks Allport recognized that whole host of factors affect the intergroup contact context and influence whether participants emerge from situation with more positive or more negative attitudes toward outgroup He specified at least 4 fundamental criteria must be met in order for positive intergroup contact to occur: equal-status members, common goals, intergroup cooperation, support of legitimate authority Tests of the contact hypothesis Deutsch: in desegregated public housing equal status contact between white and black neighbours resulted in more favourable attitudes of white individuals toward equal housing policies Works: blacks in desegregated housing projects had more positive attitudes towards white neighbours than did segregated blacks Pettigrew: key point of confusion is that some researchers have confused factors that are essential with those what are merely facilitative i
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