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Generalization of positive attitude as a function of subgroup and superordinate group identifications in intergroup contact

journal contribution
posted on 2023-06-07, 18:08 authored by Roberto Gonzalez, Rupert Brown
The role of category salience in mediating the effects of intergroup contact was examined. One theoretical model proposes that some psychological salience of subgroup categories is necessary to facilitate the generalization of attitude change beyond the immediate contact situation. Another argues that a re-categorization of the subgroups into a new superordinate category is more beneficial, whilst a third suggests that de-categorizing the situation entirely is optimal. An alternative view, which combines the first two models, proposes a Dual Identity strategy (simultaneous high superordinate and high subgroup categorization) as an important mediator of the relationship between contact variables and intergroup attitudes. In the study, participants (N=114) undertook a cooperative intergroup task under four conditions of category salience: `subgroup¿, `superordinate¿, `superordinate and subgroup¿, and `no group salience¿. Evaluative ratings and symbolic reward allocations both for the groups encountered (contact) and those outside the situation (generalization) provided measures of intergroup bias. Bias within the contact situation was mainly eliminated in all conditions. However, on the more generalized bias measures, only the `superordinate¿ and `superordinate and subgroup¿ (Dual Identity strategy) conditions maintained this low level; in the other two conditions intergroup bias resurfaced. A combination of the first two models is proposed.


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  • Published


European Journal of Social Psychology





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  • Psychology Publications

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