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Vicarious Intergroup Contact and the Role of Authorities in Prejudice Reduction

  • Ángel Gómez (a1) and Carmen Huici (a1)

Abstract

The present study focuses on the effect of vicarious intergroup contact and the support of an authority figure on the improvement of outgroup and meta-stereotype evaluations. Meta-stereotype refers to the shared beliefs of ingroup members about how they consider outgroup members to perceive their group. Three preliminary studies were carried out to determine desirable and undesirable characteristics for a good basketball performance, the task that best demonstrates the application of these characteristics, and the two groups (basketball teams) that should be involved in the vicarious intergroup contact. Fans of one of the basketball teams participated in the current study. Vicarious intergroup contact improved outgroup and meta-stereotype evaluations as compared with a no contact condition. In addition, the positive effects of vicarious intergroup contact significantly increased when it was supported by an authority figure. More importantly, our study also shows that the improvement of outgroup evaluation was partially mediated by changes on meta-stereotypes.

El presente estudio se centra en los efectos del contacto vicario intergrupal y en el apoyo de una figura de autoridad en la mejora de las evaluaciones del exogrupo y del meta-estereotipo. Meta-estereotipo se refiere a las creencias compartidas de los miembros del endogrupo sobre cómo creen que los miembros del exogrupo les perciben. Se llevaron a cabo tres estudios preliminares para determinar las características deseables e indeseables para un buen desempeño en el baloncesto, la tarea que mejor demostraría la aplicación de estas características, y los dos grupos (equipos de baloncesto) que deberían implicarse en el contacto vicario intergrupal. En el presente estudio participaron los seguidores de uno de dichos equipos. El contacto vicario intergrupal mejoró la evaluación del exogrupo y del meta-estereotipo en comparación a una condición de no contacto. Adicionalmente, los efectos positivos del contacto vicario intergrupal aumentaron significativamente cuando fue apoyado por una figura de autoridad. Más importante todavía, nuestro estudio muestra que la mejora de la evaluación del exogrupo estuvo mediada parcialmente por los cambios en el meta-estereotipo.

Copyright

Corresponding author

Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Ángel Gómez, Facultad de Psicología, Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia, C/ Juan del Rosal 10, (Ciudad Universitaria), 28040, Madrid(Spain). Phone:+ 34 91 3987747. Fax: 0034 91 3986215. E-mail: agomez@psi.uned.es

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Vicarious Intergroup Contact and the Role of Authorities in Prejudice Reduction

  • Ángel Gómez (a1) and Carmen Huici (a1)

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