The effects of intercultural acquaintance and structured intergroup interaction on ingroup, outgroup, and reflected ingroup stereotypes

Gabriel Horenczyk, Zvi Bekerman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study investigated the differential effects of intercultural acquaintance (based on informal and sporadic contact with members of the other culture) and structured intergroup interaction on group perceptions. Jewish American youngsters visiting Israel were asked to rate "a typical Jewish Israeli teenager" (outgroup stereotype), "a typical Jewish American teenager" (ingroup stereotype), and "a typical Jewish American teenager as seen by a typical Jewish Israeli teenager" (reflected ingroup stereotype), on personal and ideological characteristics. The questionnaires were administered soon after their arrival, and three weeks later; at the latter time, some of the respondents had participated in a structured intergroup encounter with Israeli peers, while the others had not yet done so. Findings regarding initial group attitudes show a tendency to perceive the outgroup less favorably than the ingroup on the personal scale, while a reverse pattern was obtained on the ideological scale. Following the intercultural experience, outgroup perceptions changed in the direction of the ingroup evaluations, regardless of participation in the structured intergroup encounter. Before the intercultural contact, the Jewish American respondents attributed to the other group markedly low evaluations of Jewish American teenagers on both dimensions; these reflected ingroup perceptions became more favorable only following the intergroup interaction. It is suggested that a process of recategorization, in which common ingroup identities are made salient without suppressing the existing group categorizations, may operate in the intergroup encounters and may partially account for the changes in group perceptions.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)71-83
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Intercultural Relations
Volume21
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1997

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