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The Effects Of Imagined Intergroup Contact On Australian’s Attitudes Towards Cultural Outgroups

1908 words - 8 pages

Australian multicultural society involves the cultural and linguistic diversity, which allows lots of advantages in regard to economic, developmental, and other aspects. Undoubtedly, the coin has two sides. Racial, political, and educational issues emerged above a multicultural context which includes individual and society as a whole. All individuals have the rights to express their own culture and beliefs, as a result, intergroup frictions seems to be the grey side of diversity.
The expected improvement on attitudes towards minority groups and prejudice issues are always the topic (7). Addressing negative consequences of diversities is a challenge and various strategies are available. ...view middle of the document...

Research has shown that just imagining a particular social context has the similar effect as actual contact experiences, and induce significant impact on lessen negative attitudes and behaviors (Garcia, Weaver, Moskowitz, & Darley, 2002).
Imagined intergroup contact gives a mental stimulation on mind to elicit emotional and motivational responses to an interaction between self as ingroup member and outgroup member (3). Participants under the imagined contact condition were instructed to imagine a interaction for the first time with someone who is either Arabic or Aboriginal, where the interaction is relaxed, positive, and comfortable. This conscious manipulation is actually priming, which is an implicit memory effect (9). Participants were exposed to positively instruct imagining contact as the mental stimulation, that affects their subsequent responses of emotion and motivation to more positive direction, compared with participants received neural manipulation (3). That primed memory as the result of imagined contact, associated with knowledge structures in mind, can be activated when under the social context (9). The priming effect results in less implicit stereotype as well (7-944). The successful experience of interaction with unknown target group member leads future contact to be more positive.

The aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of imagined intergroup contact on Australian’s outgroup attitudes towards Arab and Aboriginal individuals. Two variables were measured, one was ingroup identification, as the degree to which participants identify with their ingroup, was measured by ingroup identification scale (IIS) before imagined contact, another was outgroup anxiety as the negative attitudes towards minorities was measured by intergroup questionnaire (IGQ) after manipulation.

Based on findings of Turner, Crisp and Lambert (2007) (9), which shown imagining intergroup contact would reduce intergroup bias, it was anticipated that the imagined intergroup contact with an outgroup member would induce less outgroup anxiety towards minorities.
Also, it was hypothesised that the outgroup anxiety towards Arabs would be stronger than Aboriginals. According to Brown and Abrams (1986), the more similarities shared between different cultural groups, the more favorable evaluation towards the target group. Aboriginals as australian indigenous group is assumed has more similarities than Arabs. Ame’s research (2004) shown that higher similarity perceived initially triggers less stereotyping as well.
Follow that logic, the interaction effect on the type of imagine contact and minority groups was expected.
Finally, the fact was found that imagined contact applied better at improving attitudes on participants who have weaker ingroup identification than those identify strongly with their ingroup (3). Thus, scores on IIS were predicted to be positively correlated with outgroup anxiety for both target minorities. It means the stronger...

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