Recent years have seen social-psychological efforts to better understand the mechanism behind intergroup interactions turn inward. Intergroup meta-perceptions, or meta-stereotypes, the expectations one has about how her ingroup is viewed by a member of her outgroup, have received increasing research interest as an important part of the process by which prejudicial attitudes are formed, changed, and maintained. Building on the literature and my prior research on political meta-stereotypes, the two studies comprising this thesis were designed to examine (1) potential situational and environmental factors that influence intergroup meta-perceptions, (2) how intergroup meta-perceptions and attitudes about outgroups relate to one another, and (3) whether a simple imagined contact intervention can influence meta-stereotypes and, in turn, improve intentions concerning future intergroup interactions. I investigate these issues in two studies. The first draws data from the University of Minnesota Center for the Study of Political Psychology’s 2016 U.S. Presidential Election Panel Study, a national survey fielded in the summer and fall of 2016. The second study experimentally manipulated qualities of an imagined intergroup contact exercise and assessed how it influences attitudes and intentions. I find mixed support for my hypotheses and ample opportunities for future studies to further specify the important role meta-stereotypes play in intergroup cognition and interaction.
University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. 2018. Major: Psychology. Advisors: Eugene Borgida, Christopher Federico. 1 computer file (PDF); 202 pages.
Do they like us? Meta-stereotypes and meta-evaluations between political groups.
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