The Secondary Transfer Effect of Intergroup Contact: An Experimental Study of Direct and Extended Contact

Openshaw, Lizelle (2015-03)

Thesis (MA)--Stellenbosch University, 2015

ENGLISH ABSTRACT : The contact hypothesis (Allport, 1954) provides an established theoretical framework for pursuing positive intergroup relationships (Hewstone & Swart, 2011; Pettigrew & Tropp, 2006) and stipulates certain optimal conditions under which contact reduces prejudice. The secondary transfer effect of contact describes a process whereby attitudes towards outgroups not encountered in the original intergroup encounter might also be improved (Pettigrew, 2009; Pettigrew & Tropp, 2006). A three-wave longitudinal experimental study amongst white South African students at Stellenbosch University (N = 58) was undertaken, using two experimental groups (direct and extended) and a control group. The present study investigated whether direct and extended contact with a black (African) confederate would not only improve attitudes towards black (African) South Africans in general, but also improve attitudes towards Indian South Africans, not involved in the contact situation (i.e., the secondary transfer effect). Findings show that the experimentally manipulated contact reduced intergroup anxiety (from baseline levels measured one week earlier) towards black (African) South Africans. These effects were, however, non-significant, and suggest the present study may have been under-powered. Moreover, the findings showed that experimentally manipulated contact significantly improved outgroup attitudes and outgroup trust (from baseline levels measured one week earlier) towards black (African) South Africans in the direct contact condition, as well as the extended contact condition (outgroup attitudes only). Finally, the present study found significant evidence for the operation of the secondary transfer effect via attitude generalisation. Positive intergroup contact with the black (African) South African confederate predicted a significant change in outgroup attitudes towards black (African) South Africans in general from Time 1 (baseline) to Time 2 (post-task), which in turn predicted more positive attitudes towards Indian South Africans in general at Time 2, controlling for prior quantity and quality of contact with Indian South Africans. The secondary transfer effect was not observed for outgroup trust. The present study contributes to the existing literature on the secondary transfer effect and replicates international findings within the South African context.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING : Die kontak hipotese (Allport, 1954) bied ʼn gevestigde teoretiese raamwerk vir die voortsetting van positiewe intergroep verhoudings (Hewstone & Swart, 2011; Pettigrew & Tropp, 2006) en bepaal sekere optimale toestande waaronder kontak vooroordeel verminder. Die sekondȇre oordrag effek van kontak beskryf ʼn proses waardeur houdings teenoor buitegroepe wat nie gedurende die oorspronklike intergroep kontak teёgekom is nie, ook verbeter word (Pettigrew, 2009; Pettigrew & Tropp, 2006). ʼn Drie-golf longitudinale eksperimentele studie onder wit Suid-Afrikaanse studente verbonde aan die Universiteit van Stellenbosch (N = 58) is onderneem, met behulp van twee eksperimentele groepe (direkte en uitgebreide) en ʼn kontrole groep (N = 16). Die huidige studie het ondersoek of direkte en uitgebreide kontak met ʼn swart (Afrikaan) Suid-Afrikaner nie net houdings teenoor swart (Afrikaan) Suid-Afrikaners in die algemeen verbeter nie, maar ook houdings teenoor Indiёr Suid-Afrikaners, wie nie by die oorspronklike kontak situasie betrokke was nie ook verbeter (d.w.s. die sekondȇre oordrag effek). Resultate toon dat die eksperimenteel gemanipuleerde kontak intergroep angs teenoor swart (Afrikaan) Suid-Afrikaners verminder (vanaf basislyn vlakke gemeet een week tevore). Hierdie effek is egter nie beduidend nie, moontlik omdat die statistiese kragdoeltreffendheid van die studie onvoldoende was. Die resultate toon verder dat eksperimenteel gemanipuleerde kontak buitegroep houdings en buitegroep vertroue (vanaf basislyn vlakke gemeet een week tevore) teenoor swart (Afrikaan) Suid-Afrikaners beduidend verbeter in die direkte kontak groep, sowel as die uitgebreide kontak groep (slegs vir buitegroep houdings). Ten slotte, die huidige studie het beduidende bewyse gevind vir die werking van die sekondȇre oordrag effek via houding veralgemening. Positiewe intergroep kontak met die swart (Afrikaan) Suid-Afrikaner voorspel ʼn beduidende verbetering in die buitegroep houding teenoor swart (Afrikaan) Suid-Afrikaners in die algemeen van Tyd 1 (basislyn) tot Tyd 2 (na die eksperimentele manipulasie), wat op sy beurt meer positiewe houdings teenoor Indiёr Suid-Afrikaners in die algemeen teen Tyd 2 voorspel, nadat daar vir beide kwaliteit en kwantiteit van vorige kontak met Indiёr Suid-Afrikaners beheer is. Die sekondȇre oordrag effek is nie vir buitegroep vertroue waargeneem nie. Die huidige studie dra by tot die bestaande literatuur oor die sekondȇre effek van kontak en ondersteun soortgelyke internasionale bevindinge binne die Suid-Afrikaanse konteks. Stellenbosch University.

Thesis

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