We conducted a longitudinal study to test the bidirectional relationships between intergroup contact, prejudice, and a range of individual difference variables relevant to intergroup relations such as social dominance orientation (SDO) and dispositional empathy (empathic concern, perspective-taking). Participants were Italian high-school students, who completed a questionnaire at two time points separated by an interval of approximately seven months, focusing on immigrants as the outgroup. Results provide support for the importance of contact in reducing prejudice and changing personality. In particular, contact (i.e., cross-group friendships) was longitudinally associated with less SDO (although the effect was marginal) and more positive behavioral intentions. In addition, SDO revealed negative effects over time, on dispositional empathy and behavioral intentions. Mixed findings emerged for dispositional empathy, with positive effects for perspective-taking (negative association with SDO), and negative effects for empathic concern (negative association with contact, and positive associations with SDO and avoidance behavioral tendencies). Results are discussed in terms of importance of an approach that takes into account both situational and personality variables, and of the need to conduct studies that simultaneously consider a wide range of variables relevant to prejudice.
A longitudinal test of the bidirectional relationships between intergroup contact, prejudice, dispositional empathy, and social dominance orientation / Trifiletti, Elena; Cocco, Veronica Margherita; Pecini, Chiara; Di Bernardo, Gian Antonio; Cadamuro, Alessia; Vezzali, Loris; Turner, Rhiannon N.. - In: TPM. TESTING, PSYCHOMETRICS, METHODOLOGY IN APPLIED PSYCHOLOGY. - ISSN 1972-6325. - 26:(2019), pp. 385-400. [10.4473/TPM26.3.5]