Does terror defeat contact? intergroup contact and prejudice toward Muslims before and after the London bombings

Abrams, Dominic and Van de vyver, Julie and Houtson, Diane, M. and Vasiljevic, Milica (2017) Does terror defeat contact? intergroup contact and prejudice toward Muslims before and after the London bombings. Peace and Conflict: Journal of Peace Psychology, 23 (3). pp. 260-268. ISSN 1078-1919

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Allport (1954) proposed a series of preconditions that have subsequently been shown to facilitate effects of intergroup contact on attitudes toward outgroups (Pettigrew & Tropp, 2006). The present study examines whether objective threat, in the form of the 2005 London 7/7 terror attack, can inhibit the positive effects of contact. We tested hypotheses that contact would affect prejudice toward Muslims regardless of the bombings (contact prevails), or that the bombings would reduce or inhibit the effects of contact on prejudice (threat inhibits). Data were collected through representative national surveys one month before and again one month after the attacks in London on 7th July 2005 (pre7-7 N = 931; post7-7 N = 1100), which represent relatively low and relatively high salience of ‘objective threat’. Prejudice against Muslims significantly increased following the bombings. Psychological (perceived) threat to safety and to customs (symbolic threat) mediated the impact of the bombings on prejudice, whereas perceived economic threat did not. All three types of psychological threat mediated between contact and prejudice. Multi-group structural equation modeling showed that, even though the objective threat did raise levels of psychological threats, the positive effects of contact on prejudice through perceived psychological threats persisted. Results therefore support a contact prevails hypothesis.

Keywords:intergroup contact, intergroup conflict, threat, prejudice, bmjdoi, JCCLuster
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C800 Psychology
C Biological Sciences > C810 Applied Psychology
C Biological Sciences > C880 Social Psychology
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Psychology
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ID Code:30364
Deposited On:18 Jan 2018 11:03

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