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Imagining intergroup contact enables member-to-group generalization

Imagining intergroup contact enables member-to-group generalization

Stathi, Sofia ORCID: 0000-0002-1218-5239, Crisp, Richard J. and Hogg, Michael A. (2011) Imagining intergroup contact enables member-to-group generalization. Group Dynamics: Theory, Research, and Practice, 15 (3). pp. 275-284. ISSN 1089-2699 (Print), 1930-7802 (Online) (doi:

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Intergroup contact improves intergroup relations. In some cases, however, actual contact is impractical and here imagining intergroup contact (Crisp & Turner, 2009) may represent a viable alternative. While initial findings have been promising, imagined contact research has yet to confirm whether it enables a critical process involved in successful intergroup contact: member-to-group generalization. We tested the hypothesis that imagined contact, and specific enhancements to the technique, are enabling in the form of generalized contact self-efficacy. In Experiment 1 participants who imagined a positively toned encounter with a single outgroup member subsequently felt more confident about future interactions with the outgroup in general. Furthermore, imagining contact was maximally effective at achieving generalization when group versus individuating information was salient (Experiment 2) and when the imagined interaction involved an outgrouper who was typical versus atypical (Experiment 3). These findings contribute to growing support for the notion that imagined contact represents a flexible, effective tool for improving intergroup relations. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: [1] This journal is a publication of APA Division 49 (Society of Group Psychology and Group Psychotherapy).
Uncontrolled Keywords: intergroup relations, member-to-group generalization
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Pre-2014 Departments: School of Health & Social Care
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Last Modified: 14 Oct 2016 09:22

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