A field study was conducted to test the effectiveness of intergroup contact (Allport, The nature of prejudice, 1954) as a predictor of explicit and implicit attitudes toward immigrants and to examine the processes driving its effects. Participants were Italian businessmen owning small and medium enterprises in Northern Italy who had daily contact with their immigrant workers. We tested a model in which contact ameliorated explicit attitudes, measured as support for social policies toward immigration, through reduced negative outgroup stereotypes. Furthermore, we predicted that contact would have a direct, unmediated effect on improved implicit attitudes toward immigrants, assessed with an Implicit Association Test (Greenwald et al., J Personal Soc Psychol 74:1464–1480, 1998). The results were fully consistent with predictions, thus providing strong support for the contact hypothesis at both an explicit and at an implicit level. The lack of correlation between explicit and implicit attitudes supports dual-process models, suggesting that the two types of attitudes are formed through different processes. The theoretical and practical implications of the findings are discussed.
Quality & Quantity – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 23, 2010
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