Contact Hypothesis (SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY) - …
I have always been struck by how many groups independently come to the realization that the path to bridging divisions lies in building personal relationships first. In a similar vein to , , , and numerous other groups, The Sisterhood of Salaam Shalom intentionally puts friendship at the core of what they do. While for the idea that better relationships among individuals lead to better inter-group attitudes, it is certainly important to verify that these research studies extend to real world settings. As part of our ongoing work in bridging the academic and practitioner divide, we were able to survey 285 members of the Sisterhood to get some evidence as to how research on contact and extended contact effects maps to the real world.Our findings indicate that members do indeed report better inter-group attitudes. As you can see below, most surveyed members self-report that they feel more comfort with others and more dedication to speaking out against divisive rhetoric. The people who take the survey are a self-selected sample of the membership, so it’s possible that this group is more positive about their experience with the Sisterhood. Another way of looking at whether change is occurring is to examine whether attending more meetings is associated with positive attitudes toward each group. The median number of meetings attended by survey participants was 5, so we examined those who attended 4 or fewer meetings in comparison with those who have attended 6 or more meetings. As you can see in the below graph, people who have attended more meetings report having more in common with members of each faith, as well as more improvement in their comfort with others and greater commitment to speaking out against divisive rhetoric.Yet another way of looking at the effect of the Sisterhood is to see whether the differences that people perceive in terms of how much they have in common with Jewish or Muslim women shrinks. It is natural for a Jewish woman to believe they have more in common with other Jewish women, as compared to Muslim women, even as one may feel a lot in common with both groups. The same pattern is likely for Muslim women. Yet, as people get to know each other, one would expect this perceived difference to shrink, and the data indicates that it does. Specifically, people who attend more meetings show a smaller difference between their perceptions of how much they have in common between groups.Of course, the people who choose to attend these events are likely not the ones who have extreme attitudes about the other group, so one might question if the Sisterhood is reaching those who most need to be reached. However, research does indicate that those who hear about others making friends across groups also have their attitudes affected (e.g.
Battling Prejudice with the Contact Hypothesis
33 The Contact Hypothesis in Intergroup Relations
In the midst of racial segregation in the U.S.A and the ‘Jim Crow Laws’, Gordon Allport (1954) proposed one of the most important social psychological events of the 20th century, suggesting that contact between members of different groups (under certain conditions) can work to reduce and . Indeed, the idea that contact between members of different groups can help to reduce and improve social relations is one that is enshrined in policy-making all over the globe. UNESCO, for example, asserts that contact between members of different groups is key to improving social relations. Furthermore, explicit policy-driven moves for greater contact have played an important role in improving social relations between races in the U.S.A, in improving relationships between Protestants and Catholics in Northern Ireland, and encouraging a more inclusive society in post-Apartheid South Africa. In the present world, it is this of the benefits of contact that drives modern school exchanges and cross-group buddy schemes. In the years since Allport’s initial , much research has been devoted to expanding and exploring his . In this article I will review some of the vast literature on the role of contact in reducing , looking at its success, mediating factors, recent theoretical extensions of the hypothesis and directions for future research. Contact is of utmost importance in reducing and promoting a more tolerant and integrated society and as such is a prime example of the real life applications that psychology can offer the world.
Contact hypothesis | Psychology Wiki | FANDOM powered …
The contact hypothesis predicts that racial prejudice diminishes when whites and non-whites interact in a setting that fosters cooperation among people of equal status. This hypothesis has seldom, if ever, been tested using randomized experimentation outside the laboratory. This chapter reports the results of a randomized field experiment in which white students were randomly assigned to Outward Bound two- and three-week wilderness courses. In the control group, all the students in each course were non-Hispanic whites. In the treatment group, most of the students were non-Hispanic whites, but at least three of the participants were African-Americans. One month after completing the course, the white participants were interviewed by telephone. As expected, the group that experienced a racially heterogeneous environment expressed greater levels of tolerance than the control group. Although these findings require replication, the research design provides a template for future field-experiments examining the validity of the contact hypothesis.