The authors wish to thank Greg Morris and Robert Schatz of the Mountain View Police Department, Phillip G. Zimbardo of Stanford University, and Stanford students Rick Bowers, Claudia Cohen, Diane Fisher, Hunt Kooiker, Gretchen Lobitz, Herb Murphy, Neil Morse, Hilde Ann Olds, and Elsa Rosenberg for their efforts during the Depolarization Project. Additional thanks go to Jerry Brennan and Carol Kanayama for their help in the data tabulation and to Michael H. Bond, Jerrold L. Shapiro, Samuel I. Shapiro, and Roland Tharp for their cogent suggestions concerning preparation of this manuscript, and to the Social Science Research Institute, University of Hawaii, for typing assistance. A version of this paper was presented at the meeting of the Western Psychological Association, San Francisco, April 1971.
When Familiarity Breeds Respect: The Effects of an Experimental Depolarization Program on Police and Student Attitudes toward Each Other
Version of Record online: 14 APR 2010
1973 The Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues
Journal of Social Issues
Volume 29, Issue 4, pages 95–109, Fall 1973
How to Cite
Diamond, M. J. and Lobitz, W. C. (1973), When Familiarity Breeds Respect: The Effects of an Experimental Depolarization Program on Police and Student Attitudes toward Each Other. Journal of Social Issues, 29: 95–109. doi: 10.1111/j.1540-4560.1973.tb00105.x
- Issue online: 14 APR 2010
- Version of Record online: 14 APR 2010
During student riots at Stanford University in the spring of 1970, 164 students (of whom 95 were control subjects with no contact) and 37 local policemen were brought together to facilitate nonviolent interactions and promote understanding between students and police. Three forms of contact were utilized: students riding in police squad cars, police having dinner and “rap sessions” with students, and encounter groups. Self-report questionnaires assessed the attitudes of members of each group toward the other both before and after contact. Significant attitudinal depolarization toward the other group occurred as a result of the three types of contact. These findings are discussed in terms of the reduction of autistic hostility between groups as well as an increase in self-disclosure. Methodological problems inherent in such social action projects are considered and suggestions made for future projects of this kind.