Pettigrew, Thomas F., & Tropp, Linda R.
A Meta-Analytic Test of Intergroup Contact Theory
University of California, Santa Cruz; Boston College
Test of intergroup contact theory.
Journal Name or Institutional Affiliation:
Journal of Personality and Social Psychology
Vol. 90, No. 5, pp. 751-783
- Intergroup contact typically reduces intergroup prejudice.
- Results suggest that contact theory, devised originally from racial and ethnic encounters can be extended to other groups.
- With random effects analysis, the 515 studies, 713 samples and 1,383 tests yield means rs that range from -.205 to -.214.
- The meta-analysis reveals that greater intergroup contact is generally associated with lower levels of prejudice (mean=r=-.215).
- 94% of the samples in our analysis show an inverse relationship between intergroup contact and prejudice.
- Not only do attitudes toward the immediate participants usually become more favorable, but so do attitudes toward the entire out-group, outgroup members in other situations, and even outgroups not involved in the contact.
- Results provide substantial evidence that intergroup contact can contribute meaningfully to reductions in prejudice across a broad range of groups and contexts.
- Consistent with Allport's original contentions, authors believe that optimal conditions for contact are best conceptualized as functioning together to facilitate positive intergroup outcomes rather than as entirely separate factors.
- Reducing negative feelings such as anxiety and threat represents an important means by which intergroup contact diminishes prejudice.
Journal Article Empirical Research
Classroom Composition, Contact Theory , Diversity, Intergroup Relations, Prejudice
Method of Analysis:
Studies about intergroup contact theory.
Unit of Analysis:
- It includes 526 papers written between 1940 and 2000 that meet the inclusion criteria.
- It includes 713 independent samples and 515 studies. 71% are correlational studies, 24% quasiexperiments and 5% true experiments.
- The inclusion criteria for the studies were:
- Criteria 1: Empirical studies in which intergroup contact acts as the independent variable and intergroup prejudice as the dependent variable.
- Criteria 2: Only research that involves contact between members of discrete groups is included.
- Criteria 3: Research must report on some degree of direct intergroup interaction.
- Criteria 4: The prejudice dependent variable must be collected on individuals rather than simply as a total aggregate outcome.
- DV: Contact-prejudice effect size.