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Imagining contact reduces prejudice in pre-school children

Imagining contact reduces prejudice in pre-school children

Birtel, Michèle D. ORCID: 0000-0002-2383-9197, Di Bernardo, Gian Antonio, Stathi, Sofia ORCID: 0000-0002-1218-5239, Crisp, Richard J., Cadamuro, Alessia and Vezzali, Loris (2019) Imagining contact reduces prejudice in pre-school children. Social Development, 28 (4). pp. 1054-1073. ISSN 0961-205X (Print), 1467-9507 (Online) (doi:

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We examined the effectiveness of an imagery‐based strategy designed to reduce prejudice in pre‐schoolers in Italy. Three studies involving different target groups (disabled children, Black children) were conducted within Italian pre‐schools. Children (4‐6 years) were asked to imagine and draw meeting an outgroup member (Studies 1 and 2) or to imagine writing a letter to an outgroup member (Study 3). Results revealed that pre‐schoolers in the experimental condition, relative to a control group, reported less intergroup bias in form of contact intentions and resource allocation as well as greater behavioral inclusiveness; effects were mediated by improved intergroup attitudes. Our findings are important in understanding ways that promote positive intergroup relations in ways that align with the interests of young children.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: imagined contact; intergroup contact; prejudice; pre‐school children; mental imagery drawing
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Faculty / School / Research Centre / Research Group: Faculty of Education, Health & Human Sciences
Faculty of Education, Health & Human Sciences > School of Human Sciences (HUM)
Last Modified: 25 Apr 2020 14:40

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