Friday 24 July 2020

Intergroup Contact Theory

According to Allport (1954), four conditions are essential to enhance positive effects of intergroup contact: equal status, common goals, intergroup cooperation, and support of authorities.

Equal status
Equal status needs to be perceived by both groups within the situation. Research findings vary and range from a) contact with outgroup members of lower status showing negative effects to b) being insignificant and equal status within the situation being the key factor.

Common goals
An active, goal-oriented effort (as given in athletic teams) means that teams need each member to achieve their goal.

Intergroup cooperation
Intergroup competition is seen as a barrier to enhancing a positive intergroup contact; cooperation should be the way how common goals are reached.

Support of authorities, law, or custom
Explicit social sanction fosters the acceptance of intergroup contact since norms of acceptance are established by authorities.

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- Pettigrew, T. F. Intergroup Contact Theory. Annual Review of Psychology, 49, 65-85.
- photograph by the magnificent Vivian Maier via