Academic department under which the project should be listed

RCHSS - Conflict Management, Peacebuilding and Development

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Faculty Sponsor Name

Dr. Darlene Rodriguez

Abstract (300 words maximum)

Imagine utilizing one’s imagination to harness the ability to have positive intergroup contact, thus leading to reduced outgroup biases. Through such imagined contact experiences, one’s imagination can be powerful enough to change attitudes and behavior patterns towards outgroup members. Imagined contact exercises have been conducted in locations throughout the world with many different outcome variables used in such studies. When conducting imagined intergroup contact exercises, there are many different types of outgroup categories utilized such as religion, disability, sexual orientation, and nationality. In this paper, the authors reviewed literature from the previous ten years on imagined contact exercises with ethnicity as the outgroup category. Findings revealed that, while there is a reasonably balanced approach to the usage of imagined contact exercises pertaining to different types of conflict and a healthy number of outcome variables analyzed, there is an imbalanced approach to the use of these exercises pertaining to location. This limits the pool of ethnic groups being considered for these exercises and as such, can limit the generalizability of the effects of imagined contact exercises. In order to truly gain a better sense of the promise and limits of imagined contact exercises, more locations and ethnic groups should be studied.

Disciplines

International Relations | Social Psychology

Project Type

Oral Presentation (15-min time slots)

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Imagined Contact with Ethnicity as an Outgroup Category: A Review of the Literature

Imagine utilizing one’s imagination to harness the ability to have positive intergroup contact, thus leading to reduced outgroup biases. Through such imagined contact experiences, one’s imagination can be powerful enough to change attitudes and behavior patterns towards outgroup members. Imagined contact exercises have been conducted in locations throughout the world with many different outcome variables used in such studies. When conducting imagined intergroup contact exercises, there are many different types of outgroup categories utilized such as religion, disability, sexual orientation, and nationality. In this paper, the authors reviewed literature from the previous ten years on imagined contact exercises with ethnicity as the outgroup category. Findings revealed that, while there is a reasonably balanced approach to the usage of imagined contact exercises pertaining to different types of conflict and a healthy number of outcome variables analyzed, there is an imbalanced approach to the use of these exercises pertaining to location. This limits the pool of ethnic groups being considered for these exercises and as such, can limit the generalizability of the effects of imagined contact exercises. In order to truly gain a better sense of the promise and limits of imagined contact exercises, more locations and ethnic groups should be studied.

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