Using academic research to create social good
We use technology to encourage imagined play with new friends around the world. Our materials align with the latest research in imagined contact, a new approach to bias and prejudice reduction that is particularly effective with young children.
From October 2016 we will collaborate with the University of Kent (UK) to examine how digital media can be used to tackle prejudice in children. More here: Press Release Feb 10, 2016
Friendship reduces bias
The research shows that while intergroup contact generally reduces prejudice, it is most effective when it consists of close, high quality intergroup relationships such as those afforded by cross-group friendships. Cross-group friendship changes attitudes and behaviors, with positive consequences stretching potentially across society and around the globe. With the help of technology we open up ways to turn global learning into a personal experience by bringing users as close as possible to their real peers around the globe. Our materials are designed to make positive intergroup interaction appear attractive and doable for young children.
Imagined contact paves the way
Unfortunately, the opportunity to form cross-group friends can be hindered by geographic, linguistic and even anxiety-related obstacles. When positive direct intergroup contact is not yet feasible or realistic, extensive research has found that imagined contact can play a crucial role in removing barriers and smoothing the path toward positive interaction. Imagined contact has been shown to:
- Improve intergroup attitudes (a)
- Increase behavioral intentions to engage with the outgroup (b)
- Enhance the projection of positive traits on the outgroup (c)
- Reduce self-stereotyping and stereotype threat (d)
- Increase confidence about successful future intergroup interactions (e)
- Reduce intergroup anxiety (f)
- Increase outgroup trust (g)
- Enhance contact self-efficacy (h)
- Lead to positive approach-related behavior toward the out-group (i)
Globe Smart Kids helps pave the way for real cross-group friendships in the future.
Young childhood window of opportunity
Research terms explained
1) - Pettigrew, T. F. and Tropp, L. (2011). When groups meet: The dynamics of intergroup contact. New York: Psychology Press.
2) - Pettigrew, T. F. (1997). Generalized intergroup contact effects on prejudice. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 23, 173-185.
- Davies, K., Wright, S. C., & Aron, A. (2011). Cross-group friendships: How interpersonal connections encourage positive intergroup attitudes. In L. R. Tropp & R. K. Mallet (Eds.), Moving beyond prejudice: Pathways to positive intergroup relations. (pp. 119-138). Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association.
3) - Wright, S. C., Aron, A., McLaughlin-Volpe, T., & Ropp, S. A. (1997). The extended contact effect: Knowledge of cross-group friendships and prejudice. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 73, 73-90. doi:10.1037/0022-35184.108.40.206.
- Wright, S. C., Aron, A., & Brody, S. M. (2008). Extended contact and including others in the self: Building on the Allport/Pettigrew legacy. In U. Wagner, L.R. Tropp, G. Finchilescu, & C. Tredoux (Eds.), Improving intergroup relations: Building on the legacy of Thomas F. Pettigrew (pp. 143-159). Malden, MA: Blackwell.
4) - Crisp, R. J. & Turner, R. N. (2009). Can imagined interactions produce positive perceptions? Reducing prejudice through simulated social contact. American Psychologist , 64, 231-240. doi:10.1037/a0014718
- Miles, E. & Crisp, R. J. (2014). A meta-analytic test of the imagined contact hypothesis. Group Processes & Intergroup Relations, 17, 3-26.
5) - Miles, E. & Crisp, R. J. (2014). A meta-analytic test of the imagined contact hypothesis. Group Processes & Intergroup Relations, 17, 3-26.
- Stathi, S., Cameron, L., Hartley, B., & Bradford, S. (2014). Imagined contact as a prejudice-reduction intervention in schools: the underlying role of similarity and attitudes. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 44, 536-546.
- Vezzali, L., Capozza, D., Giovannini, D.,& Stathi, S. (2011). Improving implicit and explicit intergroup attitudes using imagined contact: An experimental intervention with elementary school children. Group Processes and Intergroup Relations, 15(2), 203-212.
a) Harwood, Paolini, Joyce, Rubin, & Arroyo, 2011; Husnu & Crisp, 2010a; Turner & Crisp, 2010; Turner, Crisp & Lambert, 2007; West, Holmes & Hewstone, 2011
b) Husnu & Crisp, 2010a, 2010b
c) Stathi & Crisp, 2008
d) Abrams et al., 2008; Crisp & Abrams, 2008
e) Stathi, Crisp, & Hogg, 2011
f) Turner, et al., 2007; West, Holmes, & Hewstone, 2011
g) Turner, West, & Christie, XXX in press; Vezzali, Capozza, Stathi, et al., 2012
h) Stathi, Crisp, & Hogg, 2011
i) Turner & West, 2012