Stereotype change and prejudice reduction: short- and long-term evaluation of a cross–cultural awareness programme

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Abstract

The present study reports an evaluation of an applied prejudice reduction intervention. Previous research has indicated that such programmes achieve limited success. The programme evaluated was an in-house anti-racist education programme aimed at reducing prejudice towards Aboriginal Australians. The target audience were employees of a large public service organization. Knowledge of, prejudice towards, and stereotyping of Aboriginal Australians were assessed before commencing the programme to establish a baseline. Changes in these variables were assessed immediately after completing the programme, and again 3 months after completing the programme. The programme had pronounced effects immediately after completion: there was a significant increase in knowledge and significant decrease in prejudice and negative stereotyping. However, 3 months later, there was no significant difference to baseline levels of prejudice and stereotyping. Knowledge remained significantly higher than at baseline 3 months after completing the programme. High prejudice participants alone experienced a significant, long-term decrease in old-fashioned racism. It is concluded that further research must be done to develop more successful strategies of prejudice reduction and stereotype change that are also applicable to ‘real world’ contexts. Copyright © 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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