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From imagery to intention: A dual route model of imagined contact effects

From imagery to intention: A dual route model of imagined contact effects

Crisp, Richard J., Husnu, Senel, Meleady, Rose, Stathi, Sofia ORCID: 0000-0002-1218-5239 and Turner, Rhiannon N. (2010) From imagery to intention: A dual route model of imagined contact effects. European Review of Social Psychology, 21 (1). pp. 188-236. ISSN 1046-3283 (Print), 1479-277X (Online) (doi:

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Imagined intergroup contact (Crisp & R. Turner, 2009) is a new indirect contact strategy for promoting tolerance and more positive intergroup relations. In this chapter, we review existing research on imagined contact and propose two routes—cognitive and affective—through which it can exert a positive influence on contact-related attitudes and intentions. We first review research that has established the beneficial impacts of imagined contact on intergroup attitudes via reduced intergroup anxiety, supporting its efficacy as an intervention where there exists little or no opportunity for direct contact. We then review more recent research showing that imagined contact not only improves attitudes, but can also enhance intentions to engage in future contact. These studies suggest that contact imagery provides a behavioural script that forms the cognitive basis for subsequent judgements about future contact intentions. Collectively, the findings from this research programme support the idea that imagined contact can complement more direct forms of contact—providing a way of initially encouraging an interest in engaging positively with outgroups before introducing face-to-face encounters. We discuss the implications of these findings for future theory and research, and how they can inform prejudice-reduction interventions seeking to capitalise on the beneficial effects of mental imagery.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: [1] Published online: 10 Feb 2011. Published in European Review of Social Psychology, Volume 21, Issue 1, 2010. [2]The European Review of Social Psychology (ERSP) is an e-first journal published under the auspices of the European Association of Social Psychology. Paper published in: European Review of Social Psychology: Volume 21 - A Special Issue of European Review of Social Psychology. Edited by Miles Hewstone, Wolfgang Stroebe. Published 31 May 2010. Series: Special Issues of the European Review of Social Psychology.
Uncontrolled Keywords: imagined contact, intergroup contact, prejudice
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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