Although direct contact proved to be extremely effective, there is no consensus neither on the best way to structure the contact setting nor on the order in which different types of interventions should be conducted, especially whether contact should be first categorized, decategorized or both (Brown & Hewstone, 2005; Pettigrew, 1998). In the first study, participants were 216 Italian first-year high-school students, taking part at the beginning of the school year in a 5-week intervention. The order of categorization instructions (how to behave with outgroup peers) was systematically varied. The four conditions were (a) categorization-decategorization; (b) decategorization-categorization; (c) categorization+decategorization; (d) no instructions (control). Results, with measures assessed 1 week and also 6 months after the intervention, revealed that the best strategy was categorization followed by decategorization. However, direct contact interventions can be impractical. We therefore conducted a vicarious contact intervention in order to show that outcomes of a direct contact intervention can be used to spread its effects among a larger number of individuals. Specifically, we conducted an intervention in two phases. In the first phase, 91 Italians (majority) and 37 immigrants (minority) worked together on creating videos depicting intercultural friendships. In the second phase, 358 Italians and 127 immigrants watched the videos before (experimental condition) or after (control condition) completing a questionnaire. Results showed that vicarious contact improved outgroup attitudes and outgroup stereotypes, and increased contact behavioural intentions, but only when intercultural friendships in the videos were clearly noticeable. IOS emerged as the mediator of the effects.
The importance of selecting the best prejudice-reduction strategy: Direct an indirect intergroup contact interventions / Vezzali, Loris; DI BERNARDO, GIAN ANTONIO; Hewstone, Miles; Stathi, Sofia; Capozza, Dora; Trifiletti, Elena; Giovannini, Dino. - (2017). (Intervento presentato al convegno 18th General Meeting of the European Association of Social Psychology tenutosi a Granada, SPagna nel 5-8 luglio 2017).