Effect of valenced vicarious online contact on out-group prejudice and perceived out-group variability: A study of online poker

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Journal Article

Online poker has become a multibillion dollar industry, with millions of people from around the world both playing and watching online poker each year. Unlike live poker, players and watchers, typically cannot rely on physical cues of other players; in fact, the only information often available to poker players is others’ nationality. Because these poker games often involve members of different national groups, it constitutes a context of indirect contact that has considerable potential to examine how attitudes and beliefs about people from other nationalities can be influenced by interactions in online poker. In the current research, we examined how observing an in-group player have positive or negative contact with a player of another nationality impacted one’s own attitudes and beliefs about the out-group nation. Participants (N = 157) watched an online poker video recording of a fellow in-group member have negative, positive, or no intergroup contact with an out-group member at an online poker table. Subsequent affective (out-group attitudes) and cognitive (perceived out-group variability) measures of intergroup bias were taken. Data revealed that while observing negative contact increased out-group prejudice, observing positive contact reduced prejudice (all relative to no intergroup contact). However, no differences were found in perceived out-group variability. Implications for online poker and future research intergroup contact are discussed.

Journal of Applied Social Psychology
Type of Article
Journal Article
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Type of Prejudice/Bias