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Teaching and learning guide for: Imagined intergroup contact: Theory, paradigm, and practice

By Sofia Stathi and Richard J. Crisp


A goal shared enthusiastically amongst many social psychologists is the improvement of intergroup relations. Conflict between groups is usually related to distinct, and in many cases opposing, identities, based on (for example) ethnicity, nationality, and religion, but also gender, age, sexual orientation and political or individual preferences. Our research has developed a new intervention for improving intergroup relations based on an integration of theory and empirical work on social cognition and intergroup relations. We've called the technique Imagined Contact because it is based on the mental simulation of intergroup contact experiences. Collectively, our research has focused on refining and evaluating imagined contact as an effective tool for the enhancement of intergroup relations.\ud \ud Our article in Social and Personality Psychology Compass provides a summary of the basic theory underlying imagined contact, a review of empirical findings to date, and a framework for developing practical applications of the intervention (in particular as a school-based intervention). We wanted to offer a teaching and learning guide for this article because we believe that the imagined contact task provides a flexible, effective, and easy-to-use tool for teachers, seminar leaders, students, and practitioners. The task can be used as a basis for encouraging more positive and open attitudes towards other groups, a way of preparing people for future intergroup encounters, a stimulus for discussions about the value in experiencing social diversity, and a way of illustrating the power of mental processes in forming and challenging attitudes about others.\ud \u

Topics: BF
Year: 2009
OAI identifier: oai:kar.kent.ac.uk:23099
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