EXAMINING THE LIMITS OF A TARGET’S USE OF IMAGINED CONTACT TO REDUCE PREJUDICE
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThe contemporary prejudice reduction strategy, Imagined Contact, has seen overwhelming success, particularly as the elaboration is increased. The current study proposes limitations of this strategy, highlighting (1) initial prejudice level and (2) the nature of the prejudice. We hypothesized that increasing the elaboration (and therefore vividness) of Imagined Contact increases disgust, which increases prejudice, among individuals with preexisting high levels of prejudice against obese individuals. Our results support predictions about disgust but do not translate to our liking measure. As prejudice against obese individuals is driven in part by disgust, a strategy that increases disgust must be examined more closely. We suggest future research consider other prejudice outcomes, such as avoidance. This study also proposed a target empowerment application of Imagined Contact, suggesting that the strategy is not restricted to third party interventions and future research should examine source effects.
Degree ProgramHonors College