Open to Contact? Increased State Openness Can Lead to Greater Interest in Contact With Diverse Groups

Hotchin, Victoria and West, Keon. 2022. Open to Contact? Increased State Openness Can Lead to Greater Interest in Contact With Diverse Groups. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 48(8), pp. 1177-1190. ISSN 0146-1672 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

Contact is a reliable method of prejudice reduction. However, individuals higher in prejudice are less interested in contact with diverse groups. This research investigates a novel method of encouraging interest in contact, particularly for those lower in the personality trait of Openness/Intellect, who tend to be higher in prejudice. Although long-term traits are relatively stable, momentary personality states show considerable within-person variation, and can be manipulated. In two experimental studies (total N = 687), we tested whether inducing higher state Openness would affect interest in contact. In Study 1, those lower in trait Openness/Intellect showed a positive indirect effect of condition on two outcome measures, via greater state Openness. In a larger sample with lower trait Openness/Intellect (Study 2), the indirect effect on the first outcome was replicated, regardless of disposition. The findings suggest that experiencing open states more frequently could encourage contact and lead to eventual reductions in prejudice.

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This research was supported in part by a studentship grant to the first author from the Economic and Social Research Council UK [grant number ES/J500124/1].


Openness, personality, prejudice, contact, intervention

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3 June 2021Accepted
22 July 2021Published Online
August 2022Published

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Date Deposited:

23 Jul 2021 12:22

Last Modified:

29 Jun 2022 10:29

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Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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