A growing body of evidence indicates that positive contact with outgroups improves attitudes towards those outgroups. Unfortunately, those with the most negative attitudes towards outgroups often have the fewest opportunities to meaningfully interact with members of those groups. These studies investigate the effects of imagining intergroup contact with a Muslim person on measures of explicit (Studies 1 and 2) and implicit (Study 2) anti-Muslim prejudice among the most ideologically intolerant individuals. Local and national participants were asked to complete a short imaginative exercise followed by a brief online questionnaire. Results indicate that imagined intergroup contact was effective in improving attitudes towards Muslims, even among those who were the most prejudiced and ideologically intolerant. We discuss the implications of these findings, as well as potential applications for imagined intergroup contact interventions, including international relations/diplomacy, and classroom diversity initiatives.
Bergeron, Charles J., "Imagine a Better World: Two Studies of Imagined Intergroup Contact" (2012). Honors College. 40.