Increase Interaction. Reduce Bias.


Increase Interaction. Reduce Bias.

 Photo by christitze/iStock/Getty Images

Photo by christitze/iStock/Getty Images


 

Research shows that diversity training programs don't help in changing attitudes or behaviors over the long-term. But there's extensive research showing that contact among people of different backgrounds reduces implicit and explicit bias.

 
 

Thomas Pettigrew, one of the most prolific scholars in the area of intergroup contact theory, completed an exhaustive multi-year meta-analysis published in 2006 on intergroup contact and recently (2016) published an article in the Annual Review of Psychology reviewing that work in the context of other theories that are also the focus of his scholarly work. His meta-analysis included over 500 studies that spanned 1941 through 2000 and contained responses from over 250,000 participants.

He and his colleague Linda R. Tropp found that in 94% of the studies, contact with members of other groups reduced prejudice. Pettigrew and Tropp found universality in intergroup contact, discovering the positive effects of intergroup contact across 38 countries and across a variety of groups, not limited to gender, racial, and ethnic categories.

The body of research on intergroup contact continues to grow, including the addition of longitudinal studies, as more scholars are drawn to research in this area. Much of the research continues to validate the power of intergroup contact to reduce various forms of prejudice across a number of situations.

 

See related Diversity Remix Blog post:

Diversity Training Isn't Increasing Diversity

 

 

Reference:

Pettigrew, Thomas F., In Pursuit of Three Theories: Authoritarianism, Relative Deprivation, and Intergroup Contact, Annual Review of Psychology, Vol. 67, Jan. 2016, pp. 1-21.

Pettigrew, Thomas F., & Linda R. Tropp, A Meta-Analytic Test of Intergroup Contact Theory, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Vol. 90, No. 5, May 2006, pp. 751-783.