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Imagining intergroup contact is more cognitively difficult for people higher in intergroup anxiety but this does not detract from its effectiveness

Birtel, MD and Crisp, RJ (2012) Imagining intergroup contact is more cognitively difficult for people higher in intergroup anxiety but this does not detract from its effectiveness Group Processes and Intergroup Relations, 15 (6). pp. 744-761.

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Abstract

Imagined intergroup contact (Crisp & Turner, 2009) is a new indirect contact strategy for promoting tolerance and more positive intergroup attitudes. We asked whether the positive effects of imagined contact are contingent upon characteristics that define the experience of intergroup relations. Specifically, we tested whether precontact intergroup anxiety makes imagining contact more cognitively effortful, and if it does, whether this detracts from its effectiveness. In two studies participants were asked to either imagine contact with an outgroup member or a control scene. We found that imagining contact counteracted the negative impact of intergroup anxiety on outgroup communicative behavior. Furthermore, performance on an ostensibly unrelated Stroop task revealed that this compensatory benefit requires cognitive resources proportional to the level of precontact anxiety. We conclude that the detrimental impacts of intergroup anxiety can be assuaged by imagining contact, but that doing so requires the allocation of attentional resources proportional to the positivity of preintervention contact experiences. © The Author(s) 2012.

Item Type: Article
Authors :
NameEmailORCID
Birtel, MDm.birtel@surrey.ac.ukUNSPECIFIED
Crisp, RJUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Date : 1 November 2012
Identification Number : 10.1177/1368430212443867
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 17 May 2017 10:18
Last Modified : 17 May 2017 10:18
URI: http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/id/eprint/827258

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