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A model is presented that traces the origins of the anxiety people experience when interacting with outgroup members to fear of negative psychological or behavioral consequences for the self and fear of negative evaluations by ingroup or outgroup members. Prior relations between the groups, intergroup cognitions, the structure of the situation, and personal experience are hypothesized to determine the amount of anxiety that participants in intergroup interactions experience. It is proposed that high levels of intergroup anxiety amplify normative behavior patterns, cause cognitive and motivational information-processing biases, intensify self-awareness, lead to augmented emotional reactions, and polarize evaluations of outgroup members. Regression analyses of data from Hispanic students indicate that high levels of intergroup anxiety are associated with low levels of contact with outgroup members, stereotyping of outgroup members, and assumed dissimilarity to outgroup members.