An abbreviated version of this paper was delivered to the June 2006 conference of the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues held in Long Beach, California, USA.
How does intergroup contact reduce prejudice? Meta-analytic tests of three mediators†
Article first published online: 5 MAR 2008
Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
European Journal of Social Psychology
Volume 38, Issue 6, pages 922–934, September/October 2008
How to Cite
Pettigrew, T. F. and Tropp, L. R. (2008), How does intergroup contact reduce prejudice? Meta-analytic tests of three mediators. Eur. J. Soc. Psychol., 38: 922–934. doi: 10.1002/ejsp.504
- Issue published online: 11 SEP 2008
- Article first published online: 5 MAR 2008
- Manuscript Accepted: 16 JAN 2008
- Manuscript Received: 30 NOV 2006
Recent years have witnessed a renewal of interest in intergroup contact theory. A meta-analysis of more than 500 studies established the theory's basic contention that intergroup contact typically reduces prejudices of many types. This paper addresses the issue of process: just how does contact diminish prejudice? We test meta-analytically the three most studied mediators: contact reduces prejudice by (1) enhancing knowledge about the outgroup, (2) reducing anxiety about intergroup contact, and (3) increasing empathy and perspective taking. Our tests reveal mediational effects for all three of these mediators. However, the mediational value of increased knowledge appears less strong than anxiety reduction and empathy. Limitations of the study and implications of the results are discussed. Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.