Document Detail

The irony of harmony: intergroup contact can produce false expectations for equality.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  19152543     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Positive intergroup contact has been a guiding framework for research on reducing intergroup tension and for interventions aimed at that goal. We propose that beyond improving attitudes toward the out-group, positive contact affects disadvantaged-group members' perceptions of intergroup inequality in ways that can undermine their support for social change toward equality. In Study 1, participants were assigned to either high- or low-power experimental groups and then brought together to discuss either commonalities between the groups or intergroup differences. Commonality-focused contact, relative to difference-focused contact, produced heightened expectations for fair (i.e., egalitarian) out-group behavior among members of disadvantaged groups. These expectations, however, proved unrealistic when compared against the actions of members of the advantaged groups. Participants in Study 2 were Israeli Arabs (a disadvantaged minority) who reported the amount of positive contact they experienced with Jews. More positive intergroup contact was associated with increased perceptions of Jews as fair, which in turn predicted decreased support for social change. Implications for social change are considered.
Tamar Saguy; Nicole Tausch; John F Dovidio; Felicia Pratto
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Randomized Controlled Trial; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't; Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Psychological science     Volume:  20     ISSN:  1467-9280     ISO Abbreviation:  Psychol Sci     Publication Date:  2009 Jan 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2009-01-20     Completed Date:  2009-05-11     Revised Date:  2011-05-20    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9007542     Medline TA:  Psychol Sci     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  114-21     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Psychology, Yale University, Box 208205, New Haven, CT 06520-8205, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Arabs / psychology
Jews / psychology
Minority Groups / psychology*
Power (Psychology)*
Reality Testing
Social Behavior*
Social Change
Social Distance*
Social Identification*
Social Perception
Young Adult

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