University of Twente Student Theses


Prejudice reduction through text-based e-contact in Germany

Royal, Nell (2022) Prejudice reduction through text-based e-contact in Germany.

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Abstract:Prejudice towards minority groups causes suffering for the individuals affected and targeted by these prejudiced beliefs. According to Allport’s (1954) contact hypothesis, misconceptions and stereotypes about a social group are the roots of prejudice. By being in contact with members of an outgroup that misconceptions are held against, these beliefs and stereotypes can be proven wrong. The present thesis aims to examine how text-based e-contact, a low-cost and low-risk alternative to in-person contact, might be used reduce prejudice towards outgroups. To do so, an experimental study with a between-subjects design was performed. Via an online experiment, a German snowball sample was collected (N = 134). Supporting Allport’s contact hypothesis, results showed that participants that interacted with an outgroup member hold less prejudice and intergroup anxiety towards that outgroup than participants that did not have e-contact. Conflicting with that however, there was no significant difference in prejudice found between participants that chatted with an ingroup member to those who chatted with an outgroup member. Nationalism was found to predict an increase in prejudice, while patriotism predicted decreased prejudice. Further, identification with one’s ingroup could predict prejudice towards the outgroup. In line with Allport’s findings, the more positive the contact was experienced to be, the lower was prejudice. Implications for future research suggest a need for a shorter prejudice scale that may enable a pre-post design. Research on e-contact should also consider users with low digital literacy and higher age.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology MSc (66604)
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