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Pers Soc Psychol Bull. 2010 Sep;36(9):1170-85. doi: 10.1177/0146167210379868. Epub 2010 Aug 13.

Is it better not to talk? Group polarization, extended contact, and perspective taking in Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.

Author information

1
Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08540, USA. epaluck@princeton.edu

Abstract

Mass media are often used to generate discussion for the purpose of conflict reduction. A yearlong field experiment in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) tested the impact of one such media program, a talk show designed to promote listener discussion about intergroup conflict and cooperation. A stratified random half of all nonoverlapping broadcast regions in eastern DRC aired the talk show, which encouraged listeners to consider tolerant opinions and outgroup perspectives, and promoted extended intergroup contact using a related soap opera. The other regions aired the soap opera only. Compared to individuals exposed to the soap opera only, talk show listeners discussed more but were more intolerant, more mindful of grievances, and less likely to aid disliked community members. These results point to some of the limits of discussion and suggest further research on ideas connecting theoretical recommendations for discussion and conflict reduction.

PMID:
20709938
DOI:
10.1177/0146167210379868
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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