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`Where the rubber hits the road’ en route to inter-group harmony: Examining contact intentions and contact behaviour under meta-stereotype threat


Correspondence should be addressed to Cara MacInnis, Department of Psychology, Brock University, St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada L2S 3A1 (e-mail:


Although inter-group contact reduces prejudice, intra-group contact is most typically preferred. Understanding factors contributing to out-group avoidance, therefore, is imperative. Unlike previous correlational studies, other-stereotype (out-group is biased) and meta-stereotype (out-group sees one's in-group as biased) information was manipulated in an inter-group contact setting, at the personal (you/partner) or group (in-group/out-group) level. Whites under threat generally indicated positive expectations and intentions to approach Black interaction partners. However, at the behavioural level, personal meta-stereotype manipulations (your partner thinks you are biased) generated out-group avoidance several times stronger than in the other threat conditions. Implications for the development of prejudice interventions are discussed within an aversive racism framework.

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