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Don’t hurt my outgroup friend: A multifaceted form of imagined contact promotes intentions to counteract bullying

Don’t hurt my outgroup friend: A multifaceted form of imagined contact promotes intentions to counteract bullying

Vezzali, Loris, Birtel, Michèle D. ORCID: 0000-0002-2383-9197, Di Bernardo, Gian Antonio, Stathi, Sofia ORCID: 0000-0002-1218-5239, Crisp, Richard John, Cadamuro, Alessia and Visintin, Emilio Paolo (2019) Don’t hurt my outgroup friend: A multifaceted form of imagined contact promotes intentions to counteract bullying. Group Processes & Intergroup Relations, 23 (5). pp. 643-663. ISSN 1368-4302 (Print), 1461-7188 (Online) (doi:https://doi.org/10.1177/1368430219852404)

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Abstract

A growing body of research has shown that imagined intergroup contact can improve outgroup attitudes. The aim of the present study was to examine the effectiveness of a multifaceted form of imagined contact in counteracting bullying in school children, and additionally to test the underlying processes of this effect. Two hundred and fifteen Italian elementary school children took part in a three-week intervention, where they were asked to imagine a scenario in which they become friends with an unknown disabled child, interact in various social settings, and react to forms of discrimination toward the newly acquired friend. After each session, they discussed collectively what they had imagined. The dependent measures were administered one week after the last session. Results revealed that inclusion of an outgroup member in the self mediated the effect of imagined contact on intentions to counteract social exclusion and bullying of disabled children, as well as helping intentions. Imagined contact also promoted greater willingness for outgroup contact via more positive outgroup attitudes and empathy. Our findings are important in delineating new forms of imagined contact, and understanding ways to promote behaviors that defend victims of social exclusion and bullying in school environments.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: bullying, empathy, imagined contact, inclusion of other in self, prejudice, social exclusion
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Education, Health & Human Sciences
Faculty of Education, Health & Human Sciences > Department of Psychology, Social Work & Counselling
Last Modified: 04 Aug 2020 09:14
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
Selected for GREAT 2019: GREAT 3
Selected for REF2021: REF 3
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/24052

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