Intergroup anxiety from the self and other: Evidence from self-report, physiological effects, and real interactions
Article first published online: 30 DEC 2011
Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
European Journal of Social Psychology
Volume 42, Issue 2, pages 150–163, March 2012
How to Cite
Greenland, K., Xenias, D. and Maio, G. (2012), Intergroup anxiety from the self and other: Evidence from self-report, physiological effects, and real interactions. Eur. J. Soc. Psychol., 42: 150–163. doi: 10.1002/ejsp.867
- Issue published online: 20 FEB 2012
- Article first published online: 30 DEC 2011
- Manuscript Accepted: 12 OCT 2011
- Manuscript Received: 23 JUN 2011
Intergroup anxiety has become important in understanding the success or failure of intergroup contact. In this paper, we suggest that intergroup anxiety is made up from two constructs: self-anxiety (anxiety over thinking or doing something that is prejudiced) and other-anxiety (anxiety that the other might do something to you). Over four studies, we show how these two dimensions have different correlates and independently predict psychophysiological reactivity to an intergroup interaction. Other-anxiety was associated with negative intergroup attitudes and negative affect. In contrast, self-anxiety had no simple relationship with conventional measures of intergroup attitudes but was associated with a flattening of responses that were indicative of freezing (Study 3) and simultaneous approach and avoidance (Study 4). We suggest that whereas other-anxiety is associated with negative affect and avoidance, self-anxiety is associated with ‘freezing’ responses to intergroup interaction. Thus, the distinction between these two constructs has important repercussions. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.