Imagined contact facilitates acculturation, sometimes: contradicting evidence from two sociocultural contexts

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Educational Publishing Foundation-American Psychological Assoc

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Objective: Imagined intergroup contact has been shown to be an effective tool to improve intergroup relationships in various settings, yet the application of the strategy among minority group members and across cultures has been scarce. The current research aimed to test imagined contact effects on minority group members' acculturation strategies (contact participation and culture maintenance), perceived discrimination, feelings of belongingness, and social acceptance across three studies conducted in the United Kingdom (Study 1) and Turkey (Studies 2 and 3). Method: The sample consisted of Eastern Europeans in Study 1 (N = 63) and Kurds in Study 2 and 3 (N = 66 and 210, respectively). Participants were randomly assigned to 1 of 2 conditions (control vs. imagined contact) and completed measures of acculturation, perceived discrimination, general belongingness, and social acceptance. Results: Findings showed that while imagined contact significantly reduced perceived discrimination and culture maintenance, and increased contact participation and social acceptance among Eastern Europeans (Study 1), it reduced social acceptance and contact participation among Kurds recruited from a conflict-ridden homogeneous setting (Study 2). With a larger and more heterogeneous sample of Kurds (Study 3), these effects occurred only among those with higher ingroup identification. Moreover, in all studies social acceptance mediated the effects of imagined contact on contact participation and perceived discrimination. Discussion. Findings offer important insights about the use of the imagined contact strategy among minority group members and imply the need to take into account the context-dependent nature of contact strategies.


Anahtar Kelimeler

Acculturation, Adult, Article, Collective self-esteem, Contact, Controlled study, Cross-group friendships, Cultural factor, Discrimination, Eastern European, Ethnic friendships, Female, Group identification, Group process, Group processes, Human, Human experiment, Humans, Identification, Imagined contact, Intergroup contact, Kurd (people), Major clinical study, Majority relations, Male, Minority, Minority group, Minority groups, Outgroup attitudes, Out-group trust, Perceived discrimination, Perception, Positive contact, Prejudice, Prejudice-reduction, Psychology, Randomized controlled trial, Social acceptance, Social behavior, Social distance, Social identification, Social perception, Turkey, Turkey (bird), Turkey (republic), United Kingdom, Young adult


Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology

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Bağcı Hemşinlioğlu, S. Ç., Stathi, S. & Piyale, Z. E. (2019). Imagined contact facilitates acculturation, sometimes: Contradicting evidence from two sociocultural contexts. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, 25(4), 539-552. doi:10.1037/cdp0000256