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J Pers Soc Psychol. 2005 Jan;88(1):91-107.

Intergroup contact and pluralistic ignorance.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08540, USA. nshelton@princeton.edu

Abstract

The present work examined the relationship between people's own interpretations of why they avoid intergroup contact and their interpretations of why out-groups avoid intergroup contact. Studies 1 and 2 demonstrate that Whites and Blacks would like to have more contact with the out-group but believe the out-group does not want to have contact with them. Studies 3-5 show that Whites and Blacks make divergent explanations about their own and their potential out-group partner's failure to initiate contact. Specifically, individuals explained their own inaction in terms of their fear of being rejected because of their race but attributed the out-group members' inaction to their lack of interest. Study 6 examined the behavioral consequences of this self-other bias. Finally, Study 7 applied theoretical work on the extended contact hypothesis to explore a means to reduce this self- other bias. The implications of these studies for improving intergroup interactions are discussed.

PMID:
15631577
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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