The generalization of positive intergroup attitudes : reducing intergroup anxiety
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[ACCESS RESTRICTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI AT REQUEST OF AUTHOR.] Contact settings that include equal status, cooperation/pursuit of common goals, acquaintance potential, and authority sanction can improve intergroup attitudes. However, research investigating whether these attitudes generalize beyond the initial contact setting has yielded equivocal results. The present experiment examined the relationship between optimal intergroup contact with members of invisible and visible stigmatized groups, post-contact social support, and immediate as well as generalized intergroup attitudes. In line with predictions, the results revealed that participants in the contact with a member of a visible stigmatized group condition (i.e., Black-target) reported more positive intergroup attitudes than their contact with a member of an invisible stigmatized group counterparts (i.e., Schizophrenic-target). However, the results of the present study did not support the hypothesis that positive past experiences with members of a stigmatized group would be associated with more positive intergroup attitudes immediately after an optimal intergroup interaction. In addition, the results failed to reveal that the post-contact social support induction led to more positive generalized outgroup attitudes, feelings, or perceptions. Finally, the results failed to reveal that the ratings taken immediately after the contact setting, mediated the relationship between contact with a stigmatized target and generalized outgroup attitudes, feelings, or perceptions.
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