Contact researchers have largely overlooked the potential for negative intergroup contact to increase prejudice. In Study 1, we tested the interaction between contact quantity and valence on prejudice toward Black Australians (n = 1,476), Muslim Australians (n = 173), and asylum seekers (n = 293). In all cases, the association between contact quantity and prejudice was moderated by its valence, with negative contact emerging as a stronger and more consistent predictor than positive contact. In Study 2, White Americans (n = 441) indicated how much positive and negative contact they had with Black Americans on separate measures. Although both quantity of positive and negative contact predicted racism and avoidance, negative contact was the stronger predictor. Furthermore, negative (but not positive) contact independently predicted suspicion about Barack Obama’s birthplace. These results extend the contact hypothesis by issuing an important caveat: Negative contact may be more strongly associated with increased racism and discrimination than positive contact is with its reduction.
The information contained on this website has been sourced by the Australian Indigenous Psychology Education Project (AIPEP) and AIPEP 2. The first AIPEP was funded by the Australian Government Office of Teaching and Learning. AIPEP 2 is part of the Transforming Indigenous Mental Health and Wellbeing Project, funded by the Million Minds Mission Grant. The views expressed in this website do not necessarily reflect the views of the Australian Government Office of Teaching and Learning or the Million Minds Mission Grant.
Several of the images used throughout this website are credited to Chris Lewis