Think beyond contact: Reformulating imagined intergroup contact theory by adding friendship potential
Piyale, Zeynep Ecem
Birçek, Nazlı Işık
Bağcı Hemşinlioğlu, Sabahat Çiğdem
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Three experiments were conducted to test whether an imagined contact scenario with friendship potential would be more effective than the standard imagined contact scenario in changing Turkish participants' attitudes and behaviors towards Syrian refugees. Experiment 1 (N = 99) showed that adding a specific friendship indicator to the contact scenario (intimacy or interaction) increased the effectiveness of the typical positive contact strategy on outgroup trust. Experiment 2 (N = 145) demonstrated that imagining a positive contact scenario which included both intimacy and interaction elements simultaneously was more effective than the standard imagined contact scenario in increasing outgroup trust and behavioral intentions. Experiment 3 (N = 79) demonstrated that simply adding an explicit statement about the potential of forming a cross-group friendship improved the effectiveness of the imagined contact paradigm on attitudes, trust, behavioral intentions, and perceived threat. Theoretical and practical implications of findings for the development of imagined contact interventions are discussed.
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