Educating for inclusion: Diversity education programs can reduce prejudice toward outgroups in Israel

Chagai M. Weiss*, Shira Ran, Eran Halperin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Intergroup prejudice is pervasive in many contexts worldwide, leading to discrimination and conflict. Existing research suggests that prejudice is acquired at an early age and that durably improving intergroup relations is extremely challenging, often requiring intense interventions. Building on existing research in social psychology and inspired by the Israeli TV series “You Can't Ask That,” which depicts charismatic children from minority groups broaching sensitive topics at the core of intergroup relations, we develop a month-long diversity education program. Our program exposed students to the TV series and facilitated follow-up classroom discussions in which students constructively addressed various sensitive topics at the core of intergroup relations and learned about intergroup similarities, intragroup heterogeneity, and the value of taking others' perspectives. Through two field experiments implemented in Israeli schools, we show that integrating our intervention into school curricula improved Jewish students' attitudes toward minorities and increased some pro-diversity behavior up to 13 wk posttreatment. We further provide suggestive evidence that the intervention was effective by encouraging students to take their outgroups' perspectives and address an element of scalability by delegating implementation responsibilities to classroom teachers in our second study. Our findings suggest that theoretically informed intensive education programs are a promising route to reducing prejudice at a young age.

Original languageAmerican English
Article numbere2218621120
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Volume120
Issue number16
DOIs
StatePublished - 18 Apr 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2023 the Author(s). Published by PNAS. This article is distributed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License 4.0 (CC BY-NC-ND).

Keywords

  • conflict
  • field experiments
  • intergroup relations
  • prejudice

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Educating for inclusion: Diversity education programs can reduce prejudice toward outgroups in Israel'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this