The Failure of Imagined Contact in Reducing Explicit and Implicit Out-Group Prejudice Toward Male Homosexuals

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Journal Article

A considerable amount of research has demonstrated the value of imagined contact in reducing social prejudice. The current study investigated the efficacy of imagined intergroup contact in improving attitudes towards male homosexuals on both explicit and implicit measures. Eighty-five heterosexual undergraduate students were randomly allocated to one of three conditions: imagined interaction, prime control or unrelated imagery control. Overall, no significant differences were found between the imagery conditions for either the explicit or implicit attitude measures, even when controlling for prior contact. Accordingly, the present findings, unlike those of Turner et al. (Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 93: 369-388, 2007b ) and (Group Processes & Intergroup Relations 10: 427-441, 2007a ), do not offer support for the effectiveness of indirect contact in reducing prejudice toward male homosexuals. Some explanations for the inconsistency of findings are discussed.

Current Psychology
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Journal Article
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Design Two 2 (sex: male, female)×3 (group: imagery control, prime control, interaction) ANOVAs were conducted to examine the effect of both sex and group on the dependent variables, ATG scores and IAT scores. [...]

The participants were all enrolled in a first year psychology unit at the University of Sydney and participated for course credit. [...] Of 93 participants who agreed to participate in the study eight participants were excluded as they did not identify as heterosexual, leaving a sample of 85 participants (52 female). Mean age was 20.02 years (SD=3.85, range 18–38). Research Randomizer was used to randomly allocate 27 participants to the imagery control group, 27 to the prime control group and 31 to the interaction group. The mean age for the imagery, prime control and interaction groups were 19.70 (SD=2.91), 19.70 (SD=3.85), and 20.58 (SD=4.57) respectively. [...]

Procedure Participants were randomly allocated to one of three conditions prior to arriving at the study. [...] Upon arrival, participants were asked to sit in the centre table of the room to read the participant information sheet and sign a consent form. When all participants had arrived, participants were directed to their allocated seat. After a brief introduction to the study, read aloud by the experimenter, A4 sheets with the scenario instructions were placed in front of participants. Participants were given 2 min to imagine the scenario they were allocated. After the two-minute period, participants were directed to the first LimeSurvey question where they were asked to record aspects of the scenario they had just imagined. The order in which participants completed the IAT or the ATG was counterbalanced to ensure that the order did not affect the results. [...]

Type of Prejudice/Bias