Examining the Consequences of Direct and Indirect Forms of Negative Intergroup Contact

Forder, Laura (2023) Examining the Consequences of Direct and Indirect Forms of Negative Intergroup Contact. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

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Advancements in intergroup contact theory have highlighted the importance of recognising positive and negative contact experiences as related but separate dimensions. While the relationship between personal negative contact experiences and prejudice is now well-established, less attention has been devoted to types of contact such as indirect contact, and to outcomes such as future contact engagement. Further, the interpretation of contact experiences as relatively positive or negative has received little attention. Within this thesis nine studies broaden our understanding of the consequences of negative intergroup contact using a variety of methodology. The first two studies demonstrate that a negative encounter with an outgroup member, but not an ingroup member, can reduce intentions to engage in contact with the outgroup in the future. Study 3 further confirmed that the effect of negative contact on outgroup avoidance is not limited to the contacted outgroup and is indirectly associated with reduced intentions to engage with other, secondary outgroups. Studies 4, 5 and 9 found that people who witness a derogatory comment evaluate the person making the comment more negatively, than those people who do not witness a comment, although this is moderated by Social Dominance Orientation. Studies 6, 7, and 8 explored the consequences of intergroup contact encounters when the situation is – to some degree - open to interpretation and demonstrated, contrary to expectations, participants generally were not guided by pre-existing attitudes or contact experiences when evaluating the target’s behaviour or the outgroup as a whole. As a whole, this research suggests that negative contact is damaging not just because it increases prejudice but also because it compromises future engagement with diversity. My thesis provides strong support for the importance of studying the effects of negative contact in a variety of forms and settings; future research programmes are suggested.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Psychology
Depositing User: Chris White
Date Deposited: 02 Nov 2023 10:41
Last Modified: 02 Nov 2023 10:41
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/93531

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