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Verification of Ingroup Identity as a Longitudinal Mediator between Intergroup Contact and Outgroup Evaluation

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  13 August 2013

Angel Gómez*
Affiliation:
Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia (Spain)
Anja Eller
Affiliation:
Universidad Nacional Autónoma (Mexico)
Alexandra Vázquez
Affiliation:
Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia (Spain)
*
*Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Ángel Gómez. Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia. Social and Organizational Psychology Department Psychology. C/ Juan del Rosal 10. Despacho 1.58. 28040 Madrid (Spain). Phone: +34-913987747. E-mails: agomez@psi.uned.es

Abstract

Almost six decades of research have consistently demonstrated that intergroup contact is one of the most powerful ways of improving intergroup attitudes. At least two important limitations, however, still compel researchers to continue work in this area: the issue of long-term effects of contact, and the processes underlying such effects. This report makes a theoretical and empirical contribution with regard to these two aspects introducing a new mediator of the effects of contact: verification of qualities of typical ingroup members that may or may not characterize individual group members (e.g. verification of ingroup identities). One hundred and forty-two high school students participated in a two-wave longitudinal study with 12 weeks’ lag in Spain. Cross-sectional and longitudinal mediational analyses using multiple imputation data showed that intergroup contact improves general outgroup evaluation through increasing verification of ingroup identities. This research demonstrates the relevance of considering verification of ingroup identity as a mediator for the positive effects of intergroup contact.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Universidad Complutense de Madrid and Colegio Oficial de Psicólogos de Madrid 2013 

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Footnotes

This research and the preparation of this manuscript were supported by Research Fund Grant PSI2009–07008 from the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation to Ángel Gómez, and a British Academy Post-Doctoral Fellowship to Anja Eller. We are grateful to Bill Swann for their comments on earlier versions of this paper.

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