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Intergroup contact in computer-mediated communication: The interplay of a stereotype-disconfirming behavior and a lasting group identity on reducing prejudiced perceptions

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Abstract

Abstract The present study investigated the impact of online intergroup contact on prejudiced and stereotyped perceptions toward an outgroup. Informed by research on contact in computer-mediated communication, a model of contact in which individual outgroup members displayed a stereotype-disconfirming (vs confirming) behavior in virtual teams made up of ingroup members was tested. Moreover, this hypothesized model of contact was examined across two visual conditions of group identification: one in which a pre-existing ethnic category (i.e, lasting membership) was made salient, and one without salient group identities. Results showed that when participants were conscious of their lasting identities, the enacted disconfirming behavior reduced prejudiced perceptions by the mediation of perceived attraction towards the individual outgroup member. Conversely, stereotyped perceptions were not affected by this behavior. These findings suggest that the generalization of the contact effect in CMC is more likely to occur in attitudinal variables than in cognitive ones, and as long as participants are aware of intergroup memberships when participating in short online interactions.

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Alvídrez, S., Piñeiro-Naval, V., Marcos-Ramos, M., & Rojas-Solís, J. L. (2015). Intergroup contact in computer-mediated communication: The interplay of a stereotype-disconfirming behavior and a lasting group identity on reducing prejudiced perceptions. Computers in Human Behavior, 52, 533–540. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2014.09.006

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