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Reading Narrative Fiction Reduces Arab-Muslim Prejudice and Offers a Safe Haven From Intergroup Anxiety

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Abstract

Inquiry into the written narrative's effect on social cognition is normally left to literary scholars and philosophers. Two experiments demonstrated narrative fiction's power to elicit empathy and reduce implicit and explicit prejudice against Arab-Muslims. Participants were randomly assigned to read a full narrative, condensed narrative, or a non-narrative. Critically, the full and condensed narratives were matched on counterstereotypical exemplars and exposure to Arab-Muslim culture so that the additional reduction in prejudice in the full narrative condition represented the unique power of the narrative. The narrative was particularly effective at reducing implicit prejudice in low dispositional perspective-takers. Partially explaining this effect, the narrative appeared to provide a safe haven from intergroup anxiety so that they could use perspective-taking to reduce prejudice. These findings demonstrate the narrative's power to induce spontaneous empathy and perspective-taking and consequently reduce implicit and explicit prejudice.

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... The Simulation Model does not make explicit assumptions regarding the amount of fiction exposure needed for improvement of social cognition; however, many studies that deployed the model (e.g., Bal & Veltkamp, 2013;Chlebuch et al., 2020;Djikic et al., 2013) sought and claimed to find effects that became manifest after reading a single text. Some researchers, while agreeing that narrative fiction enhances social cognition more strongly than expository non-fiction does, trace the effects to specific text features such as literariness, social content, or stylistics/structure (e.g., Chlebuch et al., 2020;Johnson et al., 2013b;Małecki et al., 2016;Panero et al., 2016). Others postulate that the effects rely on reader characteristics, such as emotional transportation (Bal & Veltkamp, 2013) or imagery generation (Johnson et al., 2013a). ...
... Some studies compared only fiction with fiction (e.g., Kidd & Castano, 2019;Kidd et al., 2016). Those which compared fiction and non-fiction used fictional narratives on the one hand and expository non-fiction on the other (e.g., Black & Barnes, 2015;Johnson et al., 2013b), leaving it open whether the effects were due to narrativity or fictionality. Contrasting narrative fiction not only with expository non-fiction but also with narrative non-fiction is important to test whether fictional narratives have greater benefits than non-fictional ones. ...
... Moral cognition/ behaviour Theorists in the humanities have traditionally argued that reading (fictional) stories has the potential to generate global moral improvement across a range of components of moral cognition and behaviour (e.g., Nussbaum, 1990Nussbaum, , 1995 Word completion task introduced by Bartz and Lydon (2004) a b -This task is an implicit method of assessing moral cognition and decreases proneness to social desirability -It reflects the ease of access to morally relevant concepts (Bartz & Lydon, 2004), namely communion (associated with cultivating social relationships and pro-social traits) and agency (related to distancing the self from others and antisocial traits) No (however, Johnson et al. [2013b] used a different word completion paradigm) Implicit affect towards moral stimuli task (IAMS task; Hofmann & Baumert, 2010) a b -This task indicates affective responses to morally positive/negative stimuli -Performance in this task has been linked with guilt feelings in a moral dilemma, and with emotional responses to/rejection of an unjust offer (Hofmann & Baumert, 2010) No Implicit moral identity IAT a b -This task mirrors moral vs. immoral self-concept -Performance in this task predicts moral actions such as honest behaviour despite negative consequences (Perugini & Leone, 2009) -This task has proven to be a better predictor of reallife behavior than indicators of explicit attitudes (Perugini & Leone, 2009) No (but note that Johnson et al. [2013b] applied an IAT measuring prejudice against Arab Muslims and observed effects after reading a short excerpt) ...
Article
We present two experiments examining the effects of reading narrative fiction ( vs. narrative non-fiction vs. expository non-fiction) on social and moral cognition, using a battery of self-report, explicit and implicit indicators. Experiment 1 ( N = 340) implemented a pre-registered, randomized between-groups design, and assessed multiple outcomes after a short reading assignment. Results failed to reveal any differences between the three reading conditions on either social or moral cognition. Experiment 2 employed a longitudinal design. N = 104 participants were randomly assigned to read an entire book over seven days. Outcome variables were assessed before and after the reading assignment as well as at a one-week follow-up. Results did not show any differential development between the three reading conditions over time. The present results do not support the claim that reading narrative fiction is apt to improve our general social and moral cognition.
... Fictional narratives provide a unique opportunity for individuals to mentally simulate social worlds, interactions, and selves (Mar & Oatley, 2008). Research shows that audiences who engage with fiction -in written, audio-visual, or audio formatreport enhanced social cognition (Dodell-Feder & Tamir, 2018;Mumper & Gerrig, 2017), and more positive intergroup attitudes (Johnson, Jasper et al., 2013;Vezzali et al., 2015). Not all character portrayals of an outgroup can have a positive effect on the audience's attitudes, however. ...
... Although emotion is the centre of this construct, Stephan (2014) explained that intergroup anxiety comprises affective, cognitive, and physiological components. Researchers proposing the use of fiction as contact (Johnson, Jasper et al., 2013;Paluck, 2009) have asserted that fiction can reduce intergroup anxiety, functioning as a 'safe haven' that allows individuals to explore intergroup encounters that they may find threatening otherwise. ...
... Emotions thus appear to be the unifying thread for the effects of fiction and contact, separately. Johnson, Jasper et al. (2013) examined intergroup anxiety as a mediator between fiction exposure and Arab-Muslim prejudice, while Gillig et al. (2018) examined transportation as a mediator between political ideology and attitudes towards transgender people after watching transgender characters on a TV show. The present study extends the literature on fiction and prejudice in three ways, by testing the mediating effect of transportation between fiction exposure and attitudes towards transgender people. ...
Article
Fictional narratives can serve as an indirect contact strategy when direct contact between two groups is not feasible. This study investigated whether exposing cisgender individuals to transgender-related fiction was associated with reduced transnegativity. Two emotion-related mediators were examined in this relationship: transportation into the story (proximal to fiction exposure) and intergroup anxiety (proximal to contact theory). Cisgender participants (N = 84) viewed or read stories involving transgender characters or read a science article. Those who encountered transgender characters reported lower transnegativity than those who read the control story. Transportation into the story and intergroup anxiety serially mediated this relationship. The findings suggest conditions under which a fictional story can expand an audience’s social world and thereby serve as a strategy for prejudice reduction.
... TV shows), researchers have also applied narrative transportation as a method of scientific inquiry. In a study investigating prejudices, Johnson et al. evaluated the effect of a narrative text describing Arab-Muslim culture containing a number of counter-stereotypical exemplars (Johnson et al. 2013). Following this, participants' prejudice against Arab-Muslims was measured using an Implicit Association Test (IAT) (Greenwald, McGhee, and Schwartz 1998). ...
... Kudina and Verbeek 2019), this notion falls short in recognising that values differ from person to person and are far from constant. Context has a large effect on how we judge events or actions, as for example studied in narrative transportation studies (Johnson et al. 2013;Johnson, Huffman, and Jasper 2014;Morgan, Movius, and Cody 2009). In this paper, we propose a framework describing contextual morality and its relationship to Artificial Intelligence applications. ...
... In this study, we relied on the narrative transportation method to (temporarily) alter the attitudes and intentions of our participants (Morgenstern et al. 2011;Green and Clark 2013;Grizzard et al. 2014;Johnson et al. 2013). Our results indicate only minor differences between conditions on the participant's self-identified moral identity score, which raises interesting points of discussion for future work in this domain. ...
Article
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The emergence of big data combined with the technical developments in Artificial Intelligence has enabled novel opportunities for autonomous and continuous decision support. While initial work has begun to explore how human morality can inform the decision making of future Artificial Intelligence applications, these approaches typically consider human morals as static and immutable. In this work, we present an initial exploration of the effect of context on human morality from a Utilitarian perspective. Through an online narrative transportation study, in which participants are primed with either a positive story, a negative story or a control condition (N = 82), we collect participants' perceptions on technology that has to deal with moral judgment in changing contexts. Based on an in-depth qualitative analysis of participant responses, we contrast participant perceptions to related work on Fairness, Accountability and Transparency. Our work highlights the importance of contextual morality for Artificial Intelligence and identifies opportunities for future work through a FACT-based (Fairness, Accountability, Context and Transparency) perspective.
... (Johnson, Jasper, Griffin, & Huffman, 2013;Wojcieszak & Kim, 2016), this study investigated the impact of narrative content and narrator identity on perception of threat, exclusion, willingness to help, liking, empathy, emotional response, and in-group identity salience. ...
... In intergroup contexts, narratives arouse empathy and identification with the narrator and challenge attributions about outgroups (DeGraaf, Hoeken, Sanders, Beentjes, 2012). Positive narratives about Muslims result in out-group perspective taking, empathy, and reduction of bias (Johnson et al., 2013). This leads to the first hypothesis. ...
... Except for the narrative content and narrator identity, other elements of the narratives were held constant across the four conditions, such as the number of words, sex of the narrator as male, and in many cases identical sentences in the narrative. Points of peril in intergroup contact derive from perceived economic threat, the threat to values, and personal threat (Johnson et al., 2013). We incorporated these sources of threat into critical statements in narratives. ...
Article
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This study examined the impact of narratives on attitudes toward Muslim immigrants in the U.S. Based on a 2 (content: acceptance vs. rejection) × 2 (narrator: Muslim vs. American) plus control condition design, 479 participants read one of five messages. More contact and positive attribution toward Muslim immigrants was associated less threat and exclusion. The American narrator telling a rejection narrative was the most disliked and received little empathy. Overall, narratives describing Muslim immigrants’ experience of rejection were more impactful on participant intention to engage in pro-social behaviours. This study discussed the implications of narratives in bias reduction efforts.
... Public narratives provide a safe context to explore relationships with protagonists who have different background, experiences, and social identities than the reader. When protagonist identification occurs, readers develop positive views of outgroup protagonists, which can lead to a reduction in stereotyping and prejudice toward outgroup members in general (Johnson, Jasper, Griffin, & Huffman, 2013;Moyer-Gusé, Dale, & Ortiz, 2018;Murrar & Brauer, 2019). By exposing readers to individual stories about particular protagonists in specific situations, narratives encourage readers to see the protagonist as an individual, as a friend, and perhaps as oneself. ...
... This process has important downstream consequences for both readers and perceivers. Readers were less likely to have prejudicial attitudes after reading a narrative text with counterstereotypic protagonists than those who read a nonnarrative (Johnson et al., 2013). Similarly, after constructing a narrative of an observed event, perceivers were less likely to demonstrate common cognitive biases, such as attributional biases and confirmation biases (Costabile, 2016;Costabile & Madon, 2019). ...
... 51), as measured by Computerized Reflective Function, which automatically analyzes a text for the presence of linguistic items that signal high levels of reflection (e.g., "think," "but") as opposed to low levels of reflection (e.g., "me," "can"). Furthermore, Johnson, Jasper, et al. (2013b) found that empathy for Arab Muslims was significantly higher after reading a full narrative that included dialogues and monologues than after reading a condensed form of the same narrative, which was a shorter summarized version of the plot. Other characteristics that might be of importance include viewpoint or perspective markers (see, e.g., Eekhof et al., 2021;van Krieken et al., 2017) or descriptions of mental states in general (see, e.g., Cupchik et al., 1998;Gavaler & Johnson, 2017;Habermas & Diel, 2010). ...
... Differences in the extent to which narrative engagement is evoked during reading have already been found to modulate the effect of (literary, fictional) narratives on empathy and prosocial behavior (e.g., Bal & Veltkamp, 2013;Johnson, 2012Johnson, , 2013Johnson, Cushman, et al., 2013a;Johnson, Jasper, et al., 2013b;Stansfield & Bunce, 2014;Walkington et al., 2019). However, as Tay et al. (2018) point out in their model on the role of the arts and humanities in human flourishing: it remains to be seen whether these forms of engagement are mediators (i.e., text-dependent) or moderators (i.e., reader-dependent). ...
Article
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It is often argued that narratives improve social cognition, either by appealing to social-cognitive abilities as we engage with the story world and its characters, or by conveying social knowledge. Empirical studies have found support for both a correlational and a causal link between exposure to (literary, fictional) narratives and social cognition. However, a series of failed replications has cast doubt on the robustness of these claims. Here, we review the existing empirical literature and identify open questions and challenges. An important conclusion of the review is that previous research has given too little consideration to the diversity of narratives, readers, and social-cognitive processes involved in the social-cognitive potential of narratives. We therefore establish a research agenda, proposing that future research should focus on (1) the specific text characteristics that drive the social-cognitive potential of narratives, (2) the individual differences between readers with respect to their sensitivity to this potential, and (3) the various aspects of social cognition that are potentially affected by reading narratives. Our recommendations can guide the design of future studies that will help us understand how, for whom, and in what respect exposure to narratives can advantage social cognition.
... In their discussion of the experimental results, Peck and colleagues suggest that by embodying a participant in a dark skinned avatar, they were able to "temporarily transfer someone to a different ingroup", which "could be argued to be a very powerful way of transforming group affiliation" (Peck et al., 2013, p. 785). (See also Johnson, Jasper, Griffin, &Huffman, 2013 andYoung, 2017 for perspective taking decreasing bias.) ...
... In their discussion of the experimental results, Peck and colleagues suggest that by embodying a participant in a dark skinned avatar, they were able to "temporarily transfer someone to a different ingroup", which "could be argued to be a very powerful way of transforming group affiliation" (Peck et al., 2013, p. 785). (See also Johnson, Jasper, Griffin, &Huffman, 2013 andYoung, 2017 for perspective taking decreasing bias.) ...
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I propose a new model of implicit bias, according to which implicit biases are constituted by unconscious imaginings. I argue that my model accommodates characteristic features of implicit bias, does not face the problems of the doxastic model, and is uniquely placed to accommodate the structural heterogeneity in the category of implicit bias. Finally I turn to how my view relates to holding people accountable for their biases and what we know about intervention strategies. © 2018 The Authors. Mind & Language published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
... Audiences of phenomenological research-be it in textual, visual, or other formats-may acquire newfound empathic understanding of their own and their fellow citizens' lived experiences in society (Todres & Galvin, 2008). Social scientists have demonstrated the link between prosocial emotions such as empathy and compassion with altruistic behaviors and social justice attitudes (Batson et al., 1997;Johnson, Jasper, Griffin, & Huffman, 2013;Nussbaum, 2013). Consequently, audiences of phenomenological research may become so emotionally moved by its insights that they are motivated to engage with society in more socially just ways. ...
... Batson et al. (1997) published a landmark research study which demonstrated that participants felt greater empathy and more positive attitudes toward people with AIDS after listening to a radio talk show in which a woman described her experience of living with AIDS. Johnson et al. (2013) published a study demonstrating that participants who read a vivid, descriptive novel about a Muslim woman facing Islamophobia experienced increased empathic feelings and decreased prejudiced attitudes, as compared with participants who read less aesthetically descriptive accounts of Islamophobia. Shih, Stotzer, and Gutiérrez (2013) studied cinema's ability to induce empathy toward a cultural "other," whereby White participants watched the film The Joy Luck Club, which features an Asian American protagonist, and were then asked to imagine how the character feels. ...
Article
This article illustrates how liberation psychology and phenomenological research can work in tandem to raise conscientização (critical consciousness) about unjust societal dynamics, mourn sociopolitical community traumas, and construct empathic bridges among diverse citizens of society. It outlines three ways in which phenomenological researchers can harness their methodologies as an emancipatory tool for oppressed communities. First, I discuss how Steen Halling’s dialogal phenomenological method can build public homeplaces in which members of marginalized communities can gather together to share and gain insight into their oppressed lived experiences. Second, I discuss how Max Van Manen’s existential-phenomenological data interpretation can nurture solidarity among the oppressed and oppressors and demonstrate the ways in which institutionalized oppression dehumanizes all citizens. Third, I encourage phenomenological researchers to disseminate research in artistic formats to evoke compassionate witness among citizen bystanders about oppressive lived experiences. The article concludes by positing that Paulo Freire’s process of emancipation is, essentially, a phenomenological endeavor.
... Based on these findings, we proceeded to test out the use of VR in relation to anxiety in a university student sample. In addition, little had been established as to the efficacy of reading passages as a means of helping to reduce anxiety, however there is some evidence stating that reading can reduce state anxiety levels (Rizzolo, Zipp, Stiskal, & Simpkins, 2009;Johnson, Jasper, Griffin, & Huffman, 2013). ...
... In the reading condition, participants were presented with several neutral extracts from the student and faculty magazine and advised that they had eight minutes to read it but that they did not have to finish reading it and could take their time to browse through the articles. (Research indicates that reading fictitious articles or topics that the reader enjoys can assist in causing a "safe haven" for them as they mentally immerse themselves into the reading, thereby disconnecting themselves from the external real world [Johnson et al., 2013]). ...
Article
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Background/Objectives: Anxiety is common in the general population and also among university students, affecting their performance. Virtual reality (VR) devices can theoretically help alleviate anxiety pressures faced, by immersing participants in an interactive synthetic environment that is calming. The current study examined whether using a mobile VR device would support this theoretical position and help reduce anxiety levels in university students. Methods: The study randomly assigned 30 participating university students to two groups: one experimental (VR) group and the other a control (reading task – RT) group. All participants first completed initial surveys (demographics, depression anxiety and stress scale – DASS-21 and a social desirability scale – SDS) and then were administered in turn the Trier Social Stress Test (TSST) to increase stress levels and the State – trait anxiety inventory (STAI-Y) scale to assess the anxiety-stress levels); followed by random allocation into either the VR experimental group engaged in a virtual tour of Hawaii or the RT group which read neutral extracts from a magazine). Following this, STAI-Y was again administered. Results: There was a significant difference between the VR and the RT groups with highly significant reductions in stress levels being associated with the VR group. Conclusion: The study demonstrated that anxiety levels could be reduced significantly through the use of VR technology. Further studies are needed in terms of suitable intervention scenarios, equipment quality, and in application to other mental health areas and to different community groups.
... In the current experiment, we employed an interview transcript as our written condition to keep the content in the video and written conditions consistent. We may have found that the Black female scientists was more inspiring for Black women students when presented in a well-written and lengthy story outlining her everyday experiences compared to the shorter and less stimulating written transcript (Johnson et al. 2013). From a practical standpoint, however, ensuring individuals read extensive stories may be difficult, and a shorter video clip may be easier for instructors or diversity practitioners to incorporate into their lectures and trainings. ...
Article
Full-text available
Although interactions with Black female scientists can alter beliefs about STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) and encourage Black female students’ interest in these fields, this strategy may overburden the few Black women working in STEM. To address this issue, we explored whether a brief video presentation of a Black female computer scientist would be an effective intervention compared to an identical written transcript. We found that participants from the general U.S. population (Experiments 1, n = 201, and 2, n = 745) and Black women U.S. students (Experiment 3, n = 217) perceived the computer scientist as warmer and felt more virtual connection (i.e., sense of friendship, identification) with the scientist in video compared to written format. The video also was more effective for promoting feelings of friendship with the scientist relative to audio alone or a written transcript with pictures (Experiment 2). Most importantly, Black female students who watched the video of the computer scientist reported greater interest in computer science compared to those who read about the computer scientist and those in a no narrative control condition (Experiment 3). The current findings not only demonstrate that videos are useful tools for diversity practitioners but also highlight the importance of representation in popular movies and TV shows.
... Researchers have also actively applied narrative transportation as a method of scientific inquiry. In a study investigating prejudices, Johnson et al. presented participants with a narrative text describing Arab-Muslim culture containing a number of counter-stereotypical exemplars [31]. Following this, participants' prejudice against Arab-Muslims was measured using an Implicit Association Test (IAT) [18]. ...
Article
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Interactive public displays are versatile two-way interfaces between the digital world and passersby. They can convey information and harvest purposeful data from their users. Surprisingly little work has exploited public displays for collecting tagged data that might be useful beyond a single application. In this work, we set to fill this gap and present two studies: (1) a field study where we investigated collecting biometrically tagged video-selfies using public kiosk-sized screens, and (2) an online narrative transportation study that further elicited rich qualitative insights on key emerging aspects from the first study. In the first study, a 61-day deployment resulted in 199 video-selfies with consent to leverage the videos in any non-profit research. The field study indicates that people are willing to donate even highly sensitive data about themselves in public. The subsequent online narrative transportation study provides a deeper understanding of a variety of issues arising from the first study that can be leveraged in the future design of such systems. The two studies combined in this article pave the way forward towards a vision where volunteers can, should they so choose, ethically and serendipitously help unleash advances in data-driven areas such as computer vision and machine learning in health care.
... Empathy does not only influence behavior; interpersonal functioning and relating to others are also affected by empathy levels. For example, increasing empathy levels has been shown to decrease racial prejudice in past research (Johnson, 2013;Johnson, Huffman, & Jasper, 2014;Johnson, Jasper, Griffin, & Huffman, 2013). Additionally, low levels of empathy are related to more relational aggression and poor interpersonal functioning (Loudin, Loukas, & Robinson, 2003). ...
Preprint
Psychopathy has been related to overall negative perceptions of others in past research, but the reason for these negative attitudes is unclear. The current study investigated the relationship between psychopathy and attitudes toward others and attempted to explain these negative attitudes by testing empathy and early maladaptive schemas as mediators and social dominance orientation as a moderator for this relationship. There were 191 participants in the current study; participants first read a short story and took a scale assessing attitudes toward the characters; then, they completed the Interpersonal Reactivity Index, the SDO7, the Young Schema Questionnaire-SF, and the Levenson Self-Report Psychopathy Scale, in that order. Psychopathy was significantly negatively related to empathy and attitudes toward the characters and significantly positively related to social dominance orientation and early maladaptive schemas. Both empathy and early maladaptive schemas partially mediated the relationship between psychopathy and attitudes toward others. These results help to clarify some of the questions surrounding the interpersonal functioning of individuals high in psychopathy and could potentially be used to help create interventions to address these interpersonal deficiencies.
... In our experimental procedures we followed the best standards developed in social psychology, the psychology of narratives, and the empirical study of literature, something which allowed us to avoid the problems mentioned above, and more (cf. Bortolussi 2003;Green et al. 2002;Hakemulder 2000;Johnson et al. 2013;Maio and Haddock 2012;Oatley 2011). ...
... American historical figures and their encounters with racism led them to rate African Americans more positively (Hughes, Bigler, & Levy, 2007; and Johnson, Jasper, Griffin, and Huffman (2013) summarize several other empirical studies on the effects of narratives on intergroup attitudes. Although the existing studies show promising results, many of them suffer from NARRATIVES AND INTERGROUP ATTITUDES 9 methodological shortcomings that prevent the authors from excluding plausible alternative interpretations. ...
Article
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Researchers and practitioners have proposed numerous methods to reduce prejudice and create more positive attitudes toward members of other groups. However, empirical support for the effectiveness of these methods is mixed at best. Here, we propose that intergroup attitudes tend to be highly resistant to change, and thus, any method aiming to change these attitudes will be effective only if it successfully overcomes this resistance. First, we argue that traditional methods used to promote positive intergroup attitudes are inadequate in this regard. Next, we suggest that narratives are a unique way of overcoming resistance because they create less reactance, transport individuals into a story world, and provide them with social models. We then describe empirical evidence suggesting that narratives are likely to be particularly useful for creating more positive attitudes toward members of other social groups. Finally, we propose a number of empirical and theoretical questions that present challenges for research on narratives and intergroup attitudes.
... D. Batson, Polycarpou et al., 1997;C. Daniel Batson et al., 2002;Johnson, 2013;Johnson, Jasper, Griffin, & Huffman, 2013). The effect observed in our study follows an analogous pattern as the empathic concern our participants felt for a single animal, or several animals, of a particular species represented in a story translated into improved attitudes toward animals as such. ...
Article
Throughout history, it has been often claimed by activists, writers, and scholars that narrative empathy for animals influences social attitudes toward other species. The problem is that there are no experimental data to support this opinion. Our study aimed to address this limitation. Involving 209 participants and three different narratives, it sought to experimentally establish whether narrative empathy for animals can improve attitudes toward animals and their welfare. The results were positive, and in the conclusion we discuss their implications, situating them in the context of research on the prosocial effects of narrative empathy.
... (Hakemuter, 2000). Por eso los textos de ficción narrativa no solo deben ser utilizados en la clase de lengua, sino que su utilización debe ser ampliada a las clases de historia, estudios sociales y otras áreas en las que se exploren otras culturas (Johnson, Jasper et al., 2013). ...
Article
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Las competencias sociales y emocionales tienen una gran importancia en el éxito académico y en la adaptación personal y social. El objetivo de este estudio es determinar si los hábitos de lectura están relacionados con el desarrollo de estas competencias. Participaron 106 alumnos, entre los 6 y 10 años, de una escuela de la Región Autónoma de Madeira, Portugal. Fueron utilizadas las versiones portuguesas del: Teste de Comprensión Emocional; Inventario de Inteligencia Emocional; Prueba Cognitiva de Inteligencia Social; Prueba de Evaluación de Competencia Social. Fueron contabilizados los libros leídos en el primer semestre del año escolar anterior. Los resultados indican que los grandes lectores presentan mayor comprensión emocional y más competencias en la resolución de problemas sociales.
... While reading and studying literature in conventionally taught classes may increase students' empathy for certain groups -by, for example, engaging students in spontaneous perspective taking, as Johnson (2013) found -and while such increases in empathy may entail greater prosocial behavior in the form of small helpful interpersonal actions immediately following the intervention (as Johnson et al., 2013, found), there have been no previous findings, to our knowledge, that reading literature produces preferences for more compassionate social policies regarding any such group, much less for a variety of such groups, as our studies found for CCP. Indeed, we believe our studies to be the first to assess the effects of literary study on preferred social policies related to social justice, and their combined results suggest that literary study can -but ordinarily may not -promote social justice by enhancing a key social-cognition capability: the ability to recognize that other people's bad character, behavior, and life outcomes are due in large measure to forces beyond their control and that the people themselves are thus substantially less blameworthy than they are normally taken to be. ...
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Previous studies suggest that narrative fiction promotes social justice by increasing empathy, but critics have argued that the partiality of empathy severely limits its effectiveness as an engine of social justice, and that what needs to be developed is universal compassion rather than empathy. We cre- ated Compassion-Cultivating Pedagogy (CCP) to target the development of two social-cognition capabilities that entail compassion: (1) recognition of self-other overlap and (2) cognizance of the situational, uncontrollable causes of bad character, bad behavior, and bad life-outcomes. Employing a pre/post within- and between-subjects design, we found that students in the CCP classes, but not students in conventionally taught classes, improved in these two areas of social cognition and also exhibited increased preference for compassionate social policies for stigmatized groups. This finding sug- gests that pedagogy can play a significant role in literature’s contribution to social justice, and that further efforts to develop and test pedagogies for improving social cognition are warranted.
... Numerosos estudios apoyan la afirmación de que la ficción influye en la cognición social. La investigación muestra que leer ficción puede modificar creencias sobre el mundo real (Wheeler, Green, & Brock, 1999); evocar y modificar emociones (Mar, Oatley, Djikic, & Mullin, 2011); mejorar habilidades para inferir los estados mentales de otras personas (Fong, Mullin, & Mar, 2013;Kidd & Castano, 2013, la toma de perspectiva (Oatley, 2012), la empatía y otras habilidades sociales (Mar, Oatley, Hirsh, dela Paz, & Peterson, 2006); reducir actitudes negativas (Fong, Mullin, & Mar, 2015), estereotipos (Abad & Pruden, 2013) y prejuicio hacia grupos marginalizados (Johnson, Jasper, Griffin, & Huffman, 2013;Vezzali, Stathi, & Giovannini, 2012). ...
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Una estrategia para disminuir el prejuicio de un grupo social hacia otro es el uso de historias de ficción. Esta modalidad de contacto indirecto destaca como alternativa cuando el contacto directo no es viable, ya sea por falta de oportunidad para un encuentro o porque conlleva riesgos para las partes involucradas. El objetivo de este estudio fue comparar niveles de prejuicio sexual en participantes heterosexuales que vieron o leyeron una historia con personajes gay y quienes imaginaron un encuentro con una persona gay o una desconocida. A través de un diseño experimental, se puso a prueba la hipótesis de que el prejuicio sexual (prejuicio alto o prejuicio bajo) variaría en función de la historia (ficticia o imaginada) y del país de origen de los participantes (El Salvador o Reino Unido). En comparación con participantes del Reino Unido, participantes de El Salvador puntuaron significativamente más bajo en Dominancia social, más alto en Autoritarismo e Identificación heterosexual, y reportaron menor acuerdo con las uniones legales de parejas del mismo sexo. No se encontró asociación entre estos factores y puntajes de prejuicio sexual. Se discuten posibles explicaciones a estos resultados y direcciones futuras para el uso de narrativas en la reducción del prejuicio hacia minorías sexuales.
... Empathy was measured using self-report questionnaires, the Interpersonal Reactivity Index (IRI; Davis, 1980Davis, , 1983 and the Empathy Quotient (EQ; Baron-Cohen & Wheelwright, 2004), that have been widely used in previous CORRELATES OF LIFETIME EXPOSURE TO PRINT FICTION 7 studies on fiction reading (e.g. Bal & Veltkamp, 2013;Johnson, Jasper, Griffin, & Huffman, 2013;Liu & Want, 2015;Pino & Mazza, 2016). In addition, affective empathy was assessed using an eye-tracking paradigm, based on evidence that individuals with high trait empathy focus their gaze more frequently on the eye-region of their conversation partner (Cowan, Vanman, & Nielsen, 2014), and that adapting oneself to the emotional state of others is expressed via changes of pupil dilation (Michalska, Kinzler, & Decety, 2013;Sirois & Brisson, 2014). ...
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Two pre-registered studies investigated associations of lifetime exposure to fiction, applying a battery of self-report, explicit and implicit indicators. Study 1 (N=150 university students) tested the relationships between exposure to fiction and social and moral cognitive abilities in a lab setting, using a correlational design. Results failed to reveal evidence for enhanced social or moral cognition with increasing lifetime exposure to narrative fiction. Study 2 followed a cross-sectional design and compared 50-80 year-old fiction experts (N=66), non-fiction experts (N=53), and infrequent readers (N=77) regarding social cognition, general knowledge, imaginability, and creativity in an online setting. Fiction experts outperformed the remaining groups regarding creativity, but not regarding social cognition or imaginability. In addition, both fiction and non-fiction experts demonstrated higher general knowledge than infrequent readers. Taken together, the present results do not support theories postulating benefits of narrative fiction for social cognition, but suggest that reading fiction may be associated with a specific gain in creativity, and that print (fiction or non-fiction) exposure has a general enhancement effect on world knowledge.
... Furthermore, training curricula should include information about the Romani group, their origin, and their persecution in Nazi Germany. Teacher educators should showcase variability and heterogeneity of this group (Matache & Mark, 2014) and challenge common stereotypes about innate deficiencies by presenting counter-stereotypical successful examples of Romani individuals in various fields (Johnson et al., 2013). Finally, it needs to be stressed that strategies for challenging pre-service teachers' prejudicial views are most effective if they are paired with phases of experiential learning and not just theoretical input (Civitillo et al., 2018 Milosh identifies as Roma. ...
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Bruneau’s work repeatedly focused on the Roma minority, worldwide, one of the most dehumanized ethnic groups. In a preregistered design, we replicated one of his previous studies (Bruneau et al., 2020) in a different national context (i.e., Germany) in testing the hypotheses that pre-service teachers make biased educational-track recommendations discriminating against Romani students and that infrahumanization drives this behaviour. In line with Bruneau et al.’s work, pre-service teachers judged placing self-identified Romani students into lower educational tracks as more appropriate than self-identified Turkish-origin and German students, despite equal academic performance. Although participants infrahumanized Romani students at greater levels compared to non-Romani students, in contrast to the Bruneau et al.’s study, educational-track recommendations were positively associated with affective prejudice but not with infrahumanization. These findings extend Bruneau’s insights on dehumanization, prejudice, and discrimination against people of Romani background, highlighting the role of the social context in which these associations are studied.
... ). Dabei zeigt sich, dass fiktive Erzählungen über politische Outgroups Empathie auslösen und Vorurteile gegenüber diesen Gruppen reduzieren können(Johnson, D. R., Jasper, Griffin & Huffman, 2013). Sie können neuen Raum für Reflexionen bieten, neue Handlungsoptionen aufzeigen und Teil des deliberativen Austauschs sein, in Form einer Art Metadeliberation(Dahlgren, 2009, S. 138):"Thus, popular culture [insbesondere Unterhaltung, Anm. ...
Book
Andrea Kloß geht vor dem Hintergrund der zunehmenden gesellschaftlichen Polarisierung der Frage nach, welchen Beitrag fiktionale Unterhaltungsmedien leisten können, um bei ihrem Publikum Empathie und deliberative Offenheit im Diskurs mit Andersdenkenden zu fördern.In zwei experimentellen Studien mit Teilnehmern unterschiedlicher Bildungsniveaus kann die Autorin zeigen, dass Transformationsgeschichten, die eine versöhnliche Annäherung zwischen zwei Filmcharakteren mit gegensätzlichen Überzeugungen darstellen, bei den Rezipienten das gleichzeitige Erleben von Empathie für beide Charaktere begünstigen und dadurch ihre Offenheit für andere Ansichten stärken. Die Autorin Andrea Kloß ist wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin am Institut für Kommunikations- und Medienwissenschaft der Universität Leipzig. Ihre Forschungsschwerpunkte liegen in den Bereichen Medienrezeptions- und Medienwirkungsforschung sowie Unterhaltung und politische Kommunikation.
... Bal & Veltkamp, 2013;Djikic et al., 2013b;Kidd & Castano, 2013), and related outcomes including moral cognition (e.g. Johnson et al., 2013;Koopman, 2015), benefits of reading fiction have been reported in other outcomes as well, for instance the need for cognitive closure (Djikic et al., 2013a), creativity (Black & Barnes, 2021), or changes in personality (Djikic et al., 2009). Across outcome variables, the majority of experimental studies have investigated the effects of reading short fictional narratives. ...
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We report a study testing the validity of the three most commonly used indicators of lifetime exposure to print fiction, namely a self-report scale, an author recognition test (ART), and book counting, in a sample of older adults (N=306; M age = 59.29 years, SD age = 7.01). Convergent validity of the self-report scale and book counting was assessed through correlations with the fiction sub-score of the ART; divergent validity of these two indicators was examined via correlations with the non-fiction sub-score of that ART. We also assessed criterion-related validity by testing the degree to which each of the three indicators predicted participants' performance in a vocabulary test. The self-report scale and book counting were significantly more positively associated with the ART fiction sub-score than the ART non-fiction sub-score. Regression analyses, controlling for gender and non-fiction exposure, revealed that the ART fiction sub-score had the highest explanatory power among all indicators under investigation for predicting vocabulary test performance. The present results suggest that only ARTs may have satisfactory levels of both construct and criterion-related validity. Recommendations for the assessment of fiction exposure and future directions are discussed.
... Although these and similar studies analyzed the capacity of media to prompt more positive intergroup outcomes, our understanding on what specific forms of counterstereotypical representations of social groups in media can be effective for instigating prosocial intergroup outcomes is still very limited. In addition, research that has examined this particular question has produced mixed results pointing to no consistent conclusions or identification of clear counter-stereotypical content and processes that underline the potentially positive effects of describing outgroup targets in counter-stereotypical (Johnson et al., 2013) or positive meta-stereotypical ways (Vezzali, 2017). In this paper we examine the effects of a specific form of counter-stereotypical representation of outgroups using media on intergroup reconciliation correlates. ...
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The efforts of peace-building and reconciliation between historical enemies are faced with many structural and psychological obstacles. Scholars have identified mechanisms that can induce improvements in psychological aspects of intergroup relations such as intergroup contact. However, establishing direct contact with everyone is impossible. Therefore, mass-media represents an important source through which groups learn about each other. Numerous studies have shown that stereotypical and often negative portrayals of specific social groups through media produces or reinforces negative intergroup outcomes. In this research we report results from an experimental study conducted in a post-conflict society of Bosnia and Herzegovina (N = 119). It examined the effects of stereotypical and counter-stereotypical representations of former enemy groups (Bosniaks) through media on intergroup behavior (reported by Bosnian Serbs). More specifically, in this research we explored the effects of representing outgroup individuals as immoral (stereotypical condition) and moral (counter-stereotypical condition) on specific behavioral tendencies towards the historical enemy group. The results indicate that exposure to primarily moral information about the outgroup target facilitated important positive intergroup outcomes. This study extends the literature and research on moral exemplars by demonstrating the effects on relevant intergroup outcomes whilst utilizing current (vs. historic) moral exemplars stories.
... Brauer & Er-Rafiy, 2011) hervorgehoben und gängige Stereotype über angeborene Mängel aufgezeigt werden, indem nicht stereotype erfolgreiche Beispiele von Rom*nja-Personen in verschiedenen Bereichen präsentiert werden (vgl. Johnson et al., 2013). Es muss jedoch betont werden, dass Strategien für die Unterrichtung interkultureller Kompetenz für Lehrer*innen in der Ausbildung am effektivsten sind, wenn sie mit Phasen des erfahrungsbasierten Lernens verbunden werden und nicht nur aus theoretischem Input bestehen (Busse & Göbel, 2017;Civitillo et al., 2018). ...
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Trotz kontinuierlicher Bemühungen, die Bildungsnachteile, denen Roma-Schüler*innen in ihrer Schullaufbahn begegnen, zu verringern, bleibt die Ausgrenzung dieser Gruppe in ganz Europa weitestgehend unverändert. In unserem Kapitel werden wir die Mechanismen der Stereotypisierung und Vorurteile untersuchen, die den Kern der schulischen Ausgrenzung von Rom*nja bilden, aber auch einige Empfehlungen dazu geben, wie diesen präventiv entgegengewirkt werden können. Der erste Abschnitt enthält eine Beschreibung der Herkunft der Gruppe und ihrer Schulbildung im europäischen und deutschen Bildungssystem. Der zweite Abschnitt beschreibt zwei theoretische Sichtweisen, die verwendet wurden, um die Ursachen für Stereotypisierung, Vorurteile und Diskriminierung gegenüber dieser Gruppe zu erklären. Der dritte Abschnitt überprüft empirische Belege für Stereotype und Vorurteile gegenüber Roma-Schüler*innen und ihren Familien. Im vierten Abschnitt werden Interventionen präsentiert, die darauf abzielen, Stereotype und Vorurteile gegenüber Rom*nja auf individueller und schulischer Ebene zu verringern, damit Rom*nja-Jugendliche ihre Potenziale ausschöpfen können.
... This is thought to make the listener/reader more likely to be persuaded of the story's message (Escalas, 2004;Green et al., 2004;Banerjee and Greene, 2012;Green and Sestir, 2017;Morris et al., 2019). Narrative transportation can facilitate persuasion where individuals' beliefs are typically resistant to change, such as in regard to health-related behaviors (Banerjee and Greene, 2012;Green and Clark, 2013;Dillard et al., 2018), intergroup prejudice (Mazzocco et al., 2010;Caputo and Rouner, 2011;Johnson et al., 2013;Guerrero and Igartua, 2017;Moyer-Gusé et al., 2019) and prosocial decision-making (Harjusola-Webb et al., 2012;Johnson, 2012;Steinemann et al., 2017). ...
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Engaging with narratives involves a complex array of cognitive and affective processes. These processes make stories persuasive in ways that standard arguments are not, though the underlying reasons for this remain unclear. Transportation theory proposes a potential explanation for this: narratives are processed in a way which makes individuals feel immersed in the world of a story, which in turn leads people to resonate emotionally with the events of the story. Recent fMRI studies have shown that the posterior medial cortex (PMC) and anterior insula (AI) play important roles in understanding the meaning of stories and experiencing the feelings they produce. In this study, we aimed to explore the AI’s and PMC’s role in narrative processing by measuring their functional connectivity with the rest of the brain during story listening, and how connectivity changes as a function of narrative transportation and the persuasiveness of the story. We analyzed data from 36 right-handed subjects who listened to two stories, obtained from podcasts, inside the fMRI scanner. After the scan, subjects were asked a series of questions, including a measure of how transported into the story they felt, how likely they would be to donate to causes related to the messages of the stories. We used searchlight multivariate pattern analysis (MVPA) to classify functional connectivity maps using seeds in both the AI and PMC and to compare these maps between participants who differed in transportation and prosocial intention. We found that connectivity to various regions successfully distinguished between high and low ratings on each of these behavioral measures with accuracies over 75%. However, only one pattern of connectivity was consistent across both stories: PMC-inferior frontal gyrus connectivity successfully distinguished high and low ratings of narrative transportation in both stories. All other findings were not consistent across stories. Instead, we found that patterns of connectivity may relate more to the specific content of the story rather than to a universal way in which narratives are processed.
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Like or Respect? Reducing prejudice through dimensions of warmth and competence *Background and aims* The aim of most prejudice reduction programs is to promote sensitivity, that is, to reduce majority society’s hostility or antipathy towards a stigmatized group. Accordingly, such programs target or achieve change primarily in the perceived warmth dimension of prejudice. However, there is another dimension of prejudice, which is often neglected both in empirical and field interventions, and that is the perceived competence of a group, in other words, the extent to which we appreciate people for their capabilities. In the meantime, there are very few prejudice reduction programs that specifically address the promotion of a group’s perceived competence, even though that can be significant for the their educational and occupational integration. In the present paper, I aim to raise awareness to this gap and offer recommendations in this regard. *Methods* I review evidence-based prejudice reduction interventions that are frequently applied in the field and describe the characteristics and findings of corresponding empirical research. My aim is to evaluate these interventions and emphasize best and not so good practices. Additionally, I aim to point out weaknesses of interventions, which derive from focusing solely on warmth-related prejudice and from neglecting competence-related prejudice. *Results* The current review indicates that intervention research and practice pay scarce attention on reducing competence-related prejudice, which inadvertently risks reinforcing such prejudice. In light of this result, based on the analyzed strengths and weaknesses of interventions, I formulated a recommendation package, which could serve as a guideline to promote reduction of competence-related prejudice toward various societal groups (for example, LGBT, immigrants or Roma people) among the Hungarian majority society. *Discussion* Intergroup psychological qualities need to be acknowledged when designing and applying interventions. In the current work, as such quality, I analyzed the nature of prejudice.
Article
Reading has many benefits, and has been shown to improve verbal abilities, concentration, imagination, and memory. Diverse reading materials have also been shown to reduce prejudice; perspectives drawn from different experiences and locales evoke empathy in the reader. To encourage diverse perspective taking, the Reading Around the World Challenge (RAWC) encourages people to read one book from every country. However, there is a lack of materials available for some countries, and existing books are not well known. Further, challengers take part individually or within existing social groups, and there is currently no means of exchanging book lists with other RAWC participants. To address this issue, we created RtWTrack, a web‐based prototype, which features a publicly available book database and visual map, that aggregates bibliographic data about reading materials and makes it publicly available.
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Si le Bien-Être des animaux non-humains est aujourd’hui considéré comme un enjeu important et est pris en compte de manière plus systématique dans le domaine judiciaire, il est à noter que les droits durement acquis des animaux, en particuliers ceux vivant en captivité (envers qui l’Homme a une responsabilité accrue), se sont mis en place de manière relativement lente. Comme pour beaucoup d’autres luttes (anti-racisme, anti-sexisme, etc.), les œuvres de fictions reflètent les évolutions des mœurs sur la question. Tantôt avant-gardiste, tantôt rétrograde, ces œuvres permettent de se faire une idée des avancées de la réflexion et de l’opinion du grand public. Tout d’abord, nous étudierons comment l’évolution de la représentation de l’animal non-humain, passant d’un être ayant une composante mystique (comme le montrent diverses mythologies et religions) à un être sur lequel l’humain peut projeter son affection et un attachement plus profond, a encadré l’évolution des ses droits. Nous nous intéresserons ensuite aux interactions possibles entre espèces. Par exemple, dans Fairy Tale ou dans Futurama, certains animaux de compagnie sont en fait des êtres dont les sociétés surpassent (technologiquement) celles des humains. En outre, dans des œuvres comme La Planète des Singes et, plus récemment, Okja, les conditions de vie en captivité (parc zoologique et élevage) sont grandement soumises à débat et les façons de lutter pour le Bien-Être des individus captifs sont discutées. Enfin, nous débattrons de la prise en compte (ou non) des besoins fondamentaux des animaux captifs (de compagnie en particulier) dans les œuvres de fiction. Le personnage de Hagrid dans la saga Harry Potter, par exemple, aime ses « créatures » et cherche à en prendre soin mais se fait souvent reprocher de ne pas les maintenir dans des conditions de vie adéquates (conditions davantage respectées dans Les Animaux Fantastiques). Nous étudierons les liens entre l’évolution de ces axes de pensées et les avancées dans le droit animalier.
Article
Recent extensions to the contact hypothesis reveal that different forms of contact, such as mediated intergroup contact, can reduce intergroup anxiety and improve attitudes toward the outgroup. This study draws on existing research to further consider the role of identification with an ingroup character within a narrative depicting intergroup contact between Muslim and non-Muslim Americans. Results reveal that identification with the non-Muslim (ingroup) model facilitated liking the Muslim (outgroup) model, which reduced prejudice toward Muslims more generally. Identification with the ingroup model also increased conversational self-efficacy and reduced anxiety about future intergroup interactions - both important aspects of improving intergroup relations.
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Racial microaggressions have attracted significant empirical attention and have been associated with profound negative effects. However, some argue against the importance of microaggressions arguing that (some) responses to microaggressions merely reflect “hypersensitivity” to trivial events among certain ethnic minority individuals. Three studies tested this hypersensitivity hypothesis. In two cross-sectional studies with dissimilar samples (N1 = 130, N2 = 264), ethnic minorities reported experiencing more microaggressions than ethnic majorities did, and microaggressions predicted less life satisfaction. However, contrary to the hypersensitivity hypothesis, minority identity did not moderate this relationship. In a randomized, controlled experiment (N3 = 114), White and ethnic minority participants reported their positive and negative affect before and after recalling either a microaggression or a control event. Recalling microaggressions reduced positive affect and increased negative affect, but this was also not moderated by minority identity. Implications for the hypersensitivity hypothesis, and microaggressions research, are discussed.
Article
This paper aims to explore whether personal stories told by older people online can be used to alleviate ageist attitudes among young people in South Korea. An experimental research design and survey were used to expose 318 respondents aged 18–35 to photographs and documentary-like personal accounts of older people borrowed from a social media page. The analysis shows that exposure to personal narratives told by older people has some effect in mitigating younger people’s ageist attitudes, with respondents who read stories told by older people showing lower ageism than those who read stories told by storytellers with no information about their age. The stories were more effective in reducing respondents’ emotional bias as compared to their impact on cognitive bias, predicted by the likability of a story. The findings corroborate media theories that suggest more hospitable online spaces and stories echoing older people’s voices. Education that exposes younger people to these contents may help to reduce intergenerational tensions.
Article
A more empathic inclusion of non-human beings within our human universe can improve the conditions of coexistence between humans and non-humans. In this regard, the effort to understand the lives of non-human agents participates in the development of ecological consciousness. Lawrence could play a role here, through the remarkable quality of what he writes about non-human animals. In “Fish,” he manages to offer a poetic rendering of the sensitive existence of fish, doing so in an astonishing way. But the same poem also points to the impossibility of adequately describing life forms as remote from our conditions of living as is the case for fish. Lawrence seems to be admitting to the impossibility of what, at the same time, the poem is performing, in a manner that is surprisingly effective. This “contradiction” can be regarded as a model of “critical anthropomorphism,” accounting for both proximity and distance, anthropomorphism and dehumanization, offering to the reader the poem as both an enterprise in perspective-taking and an awareness of its limits. A conclusion to be drawn could be that the most appropriate relation towards non-human agents would be the merging of two quite different components: both an effort to understand and a skepticism about the very possibility of any true understanding of what non-humans really are.
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This study is aimed to determine the effect of reading fiction on empathic improvement. The hypothesis stated that empathy in experimental group increases after reading fiction. This experiment used the pretest-posttest control group design. The subjects were 60 students of SMA Pangudi Luhur Van Lith Muntilan boarding school consisting of 30 male and 30 female. The experimental group received treatment in the form of fictional reading material, while the control group received informative articles. Empathy is measured by the Interpersonal Reactivity Index that has been adapted and revised. Data were analyzed with independent sample t-test for gain score of experimental and control group (between group) and paired sample t-test for pretest and posttest (within group) score. Data analysis for gain score showed significant difference of empathy improvement in experiment and control group (p = 0.013). Further analysis for pretest and posttest scores showed an increase in empathy scores in the experimental and control groups. Control groups with news articles also experience increased empathy. These results demonstrate the relevance between fictional narratives and the increase of readers’ empathy, especially to understand others’ situation. This study suggests that everyone should improve empathy to create a better social life.
Article
Engaging with fictional stories and the characters within them might help us better understand our real-world peers. Because stories are about characters and their interactions, understanding stories might help us to exercise our social cognitive abilities. Correlational studies with children and adults, experimental research, and neuropsychological investigations have all helped develop our understanding of how stories relate to social cognition. However, there remain a number of limitations to the current evidence, some puzzling results, and several unanswered questions that should inspire future research. This review traces multiple lines of evidence tying stories to social cognition and raises numerous critical questions for the field.
Book
The power of stories to raise our concern for animals has been postulated throughout history by countless scholars, activists, and writers, including such greats as Thomas Hardy and Leo Tolstoy. This is the first book to investigate that power and explain the psychological and cultural mechanisms behind it. It does so by presenting the results of an experimental project that involved thousands of participants, texts representing various genres and national literatures, and the cooperation of an internationally-acclaimed bestselling author. Combining psychological research with insights from animal studies, ecocriticism and other fields in the environmental humanities, the book not only provides evidence that animal stories can make us care for other species, but also shows that their effects are more complex and fascinating than we have ever thought. In this way, the book makes a groundbreaking contribution to the study of relations between literature and the nonhuman world as well as to the study of how literature changes our minds and society.
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What is the mental representation that is responsible for implicit bias? What is this representation that mediates between the trigger and the biased behavior? My claim is that this representation is neither a propositional attitude nor a mere association (as the two major accounts of implicit bias claim). Rather, it is mental imagery: perceptual processing that is not directly triggered by sensory input. I argue that this view captures the advantages of the two standard accounts without inheriting their disadvantages. Further, this view also explains why manipulating mental imagery is among the most efficient ways of counteracting implicit bias.
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Background This article evaluates the evidence for the inclusion of patient narratives in patient decision aids (PtDAs). We define patient narratives as stories, testimonials, or anecdotes that provide illustrative examples of the experiences of others that are relevant to the decision at hand. Method To evaluate the evidence for the effectiveness of narratives in PtDAs, we conducted a narrative scoping review of the literature from January 2013 through June 2019 to identify relevant literature published since the last International Patient Decision Aid Standards (IPDAS) update in 2013. We considered research articles that examined the impact of narratives on relevant outcomes or described relevant theoretical mechanisms. Results The majority of the empirical work on narratives did not measure concepts that are typically found in the PtDA literature (e.g., decisional conflict). Yet, a few themes emerged from our review that can be applied to the PtDA context, including the impact of narratives on relevant outcomes (knowledge, behavior change, and psychological constructs), as well as several theoretical mechanisms about how and why narratives work that can be applied to the PtDA context. Conclusion Based on this evidence update, we suggest that there may be situations when narratives could enhance the effectiveness of PtDAs. The recent theoretical work on narratives has underscored the fact that narratives are a multifaceted construct and should no longer be considered a binary option (include narratives or not). However, the bottom line is that the evidence does not support a recommendation for narratives to be a necessary component of PtDAs.
Article
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to investigate what metadata elements for access points currently exist to represent diverse library reading materials, either in libraries or from external sources, as well as what metadata elements for access points are currently not present but are necessary to represent diverse library reading materials. Design/methodology/approach A field scan of thirteen contemporary metadata schemas identified elements that might serve as potential access points regarding the diversity status of resource creators as well as topical or thematic content. Elements were semantically mapped using a metadata crosswalk to understand the intellectual and conceptual space of the elements. Element definitions and application of controlled vocabularies were also examined where possible to offer an additional context. Findings Metadata elements describing gender, occupation, geographic region, audience and age currently exist in many schemas and could potentially be used to offer access to diverse library materials. However, metadata elements necessary to represent racial, ethnic, national and cultural identity are currently not present in specific forms necessary for enabling resource access and collection assessment. The lack of distinct elements contributes to the implicit erasure of marginalized identities. Originality/value The search for metadata describing diversity is a first step toward enabling more systematic access to diverse library materials. The need for systematic description of diversity to make visible and promote diverse materials is highlighted in this paper. Though the subject of this paper is library organization systems and, for clarity, uses terms specific to the library profession, the issues present are relevant to all information professionals and knowledge organization systems.
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This study examines how exposure to serial audiovisual narratives is associated with media users’ empathy. While mounting evidence suggests enhanced empathy following exposure to written, fictional narratives, the present study expands this line of research to the context of fictional serial audiovisual narratives. Considering that social interactions are instrumental for empathic development, vicarious interactions are proposed as a key mechanism in the relationship between exposure to fictional audiovisual narratives and empathy. Furthermore, the empathy-enhancing role of exposure to eudaimonic entertainment in particular is assessed. Additionally, possible boundary conditions are explored with respect to personality traits linked to reduced empathy. The conducted analyses combine logged data from participants’ Netflix viewing histories with self-report data from an online survey (N = 262). Results suggest that exposure to fictional serial audiovisual narratives predicts empathy via vicarious interactions. Moreover, eudaimonic experiences positively predict vicarious interactions and empathy. The role of specific media content, instead of mere exposure time, is therefore discussed with respect to the facilitation of media enhanced empathy.
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To avoid threats to the self, people shun comparisons with similar—yet immoral, mentally unstable, or otherwise negatively viewed—others. Despite this prevalent perspective, we consider a contrarian question: Can people be attracted to darker versions of themselves? We propose that with self-threat assuaged, similarity signals self-relevance, which draws people toward those who are similar to them despite negative characteristics. To test this general idea, we explored a prevalent context that may offer a safe haven from self-threat: stories. Using a large-scale proprietary data set from a company with over 232,000 registered users, we demonstrated that people have a preference for villains—unambiguously negative individuals—who are similar to themselves, which suggests that people are attracted to such comparisons in everyday life. Five subsequent lab experiments ( N = 1,685) demonstrated when and why similarity results in attraction toward—rather than repulsion from—negative others.
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Affective empathy, feeling what others feel, is a powerful emotion that binds us to one another. Here we ask whether how we mentally represent the scene in which another suffers informs our emotions. For example, when we learn about someone suffering outside of the here and now, such as a refugee devastated by violence or famine, does a manipulation potentiating our ability to simulate the scene around the victim heighten our empathic response? Expanding recent advances in the memory literature, we investigate the link between activating our ability to imagine events—episodic simulation—and empathy for in-group and out-group members in a series of online and laboratory studies (N = 1010). Incidental manipulations of episodic simulation, unrelated in content and structure to the empathy judgment task, increased overall empathy for both in-group as well as out-group members. This relationship was mediated by participant-generated episodic detail of the victim’s surroundings.
Article
It is well known that people who read fiction have many reasons for doing so. But perhaps one of the most understudied reasons people have for reading fiction is their belief that reading will result in their acquisition of certain forms of knowledge or skill. Such expectations have long been fostered by literary theorists, critics, authors, and readers who have asserted that reading may indeed be among the best ways to learn particular forms of knowledge. Modern psychological research has borne out many of these claims. For example, readers of fiction learn cognitive skills such as mentalizing or theory of mind. Reading fiction is also associated with greater empathic skills, especially among avid or lifelong readers. For readers who are emotionally transported into the fictional world they are reading about, powerful emotional truths are often discovered that may subsequently help readers build, or change, their identities. Fiction readers acquire factual information about places or people they may not have any other access to. But reading fiction also presents opportunities to acquire inaccurate factual information that may diminish access to previously learned accurate information. If readers are provided with inaccurate information that is encoded, they have opportunities to make faulty inferences, whose invalidity the reader is often incapable of detecting. Readers of fiction use schematic world knowledge to navigate fictional texts. But if the border between fiction and reality becomes blurred, as might be the case of avid readers of fiction, there is a risk that they may export schematic knowledge from the world of fiction to the everyday world, where it may not be applicable. These and other findings suggest that the varieties of learning from fiction form a complex, nuanced pattern deserving of greater attention by researchers.
Chapter
This chapter discusses the most prominent literature on the relationship between empathy and reading and its relevance to teaching cultural literacy. It explains the controversy associated with the relationship between reading and empathy and outlines its strengths and limitations. The chapter adopts a definition of empathy based on Susan Keen’s understanding of the term and argues the importance of approaching empathy in a classroom setting as a multidimensional framework, composed of affective and cognitive dimensions. The chapter argues the importance of helping students develop an awareness of their own empathy, rather than focusing on developing empathy itself.
Article
In 1967, Martin Luther King, Jr. reaffirmed a vision of integration as “an opportunity to participate in the beauty of diversity.” Drawing inspiration from King's vision, across two datasets with White and Asian college students (N = 1,957, N = 1,324), this article finds support for the power of participation in inclusive diversity efforts associated with underrepresented groups (i.e., Latina/o and African Americans) to benefit intergroup attitudes. Specifically, participating in an academic course or activity that involves Latina/o/x or African American culture is related to greater outgroup closeness and more supportive perceptions of policies that address inequality. Perceptions of policies included attitudes toward the merits of affirmative action, use of multicultural (vs. colorblind) approaches to diversity, and endorsement of structural (vs. individual) explanations for inequality. These results held controlling for other types of contact (i.e., outgroup friendships, roommates, interactions), college‐level demographic diversity, and prior intergroup attitudes and diversity exposure. The importance of engagement in inclusive diversity efforts for achieving integration is discussed.
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A study was conducted to test the effects of indirect contact through book reading on the improvement of Italian students' attitudes, stereotypes, and behavioral intentions toward immigrants. The results indicated that adolescents who read a book concerning intercultural topics, compared to those who read a book unrelated to intercultural themes or to those who did not read any book, showed improved intergroup attitudes, reduction in stereotyping, more positive intergroup behavioral intentions, and an increased desire to engage in future contact. Furthermore, the effects of indirect contact were mediated by increased inclusion of other in the self and reduced group identification. Theoretical and practical implications of the findings are discussed. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
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A field experiment in Rwanda investigated the impact of a radio drama designed to increase perspective-taking with regard to the history of intergroup conflict. An audio-based priming technique was used to assess the causal impact of the radio drama. Rwandan participants (N = 842) listened to an audio-delivered questionnaire recorded either in the voice of a main character of the radio drama (experimental priming condition) or an unknown actor (control condition). Participants primed with the radio drama reported higher levels of historical perspective-taking, engaged less in competitive victimhood, and expressed less mistrust toward the out-group. Overall, the findings suggest that fictional radio dramas can be used to address opposing historical narratives in the aftermath of violent conflict. Additionally, the study demonstrates the usefulness of a priming paradigm to assess causal influence of mass media interventions.
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The benefits of direct, personal contact with members of another group are well established empirically. This Special Issue complements that body of work by demonstrating the effects of various forms of indirect contact on intergroup attitudes and relations. Indirect contact includes (a) extended contact: learning that an ingroup member is friends with an outgroup member, (b) vicarious contact: observing an ingroup member interact with an outgroup member, and (c) imagined contact: imagining oneself interacting with an outgroup member. The effects of indirect contact not only occur independently of direct contact, they often involve distinct psychological mechanisms. The present article briefly reviews work on direct intergroup contact and then discusses recent theoretical and empirical developments in the study of extended contact, vicarious contact, and imagined contact. We consider the similarities and distinctions in the dynamics of these forms of indirect contact and conclude by identifying promising directions for future research.
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Fiction literature has largely been ignored by psychology researchers because its only function seems to be entertainment, with no connection to empirical validity. We argue that literary narratives have a more important purpose. They offer models or simulations of the social world via abstraction, simplification, and compression. Narrative fiction also creates a deep and immersive simulative experience of social interactions for readers. This simulation facilitates the communication and understanding of social information and makes it more compelling, achieving a form of learning through experience. Engaging in the simulative experiences of fiction literature can facilitate the understanding of others who are different from ourselves and can augment our capacity for empathy and social inference. © 2008 Association for Psychological Science.
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Across two studies, the authors examined the role of individual differences in transportability, the tendency to become transported into narratives, in predicting the degree of attitude change resulting from persuasive narratives. In Study 1 (N = 137), participants were persuaded by a story promoting tolerance toward homosexuals only to the extent that they self-rated as highly transportable. In Study 2 (N = 298), this finding was replicated using the topic of affirmative action. Study 2 further showed that the effects of transportability were unique to narratives and did not extend to rhetorical communications. Across both studies, the link between transportability and attitudes was found to be mediated by emotional, empathic responses as opposed to rationalistic appraisals. The theoretical and applied implications of this work are discussed.
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Numerous studies have reported an increase in prejudice against Muslims in recent years. Less research has investigated how this increase might be stemmed and relations between non-Muslims and Muslims improved. In this article, we address prejudice against Muslims from the perspective of intergroup contact theory. We conducted two cross-sectional studies to examine the relationship between non-Muslim students' experiences of contact with Muslims and their intergroup anxiety, outgroup attitudes, perceptions of outgroup variability and intergroup behavioural intentions. Study 1 (N=58) showed that frequent high-quality contact with Muslims predicted more positive outgroup attitudes, more perceived outgroup variability and more positive behavioural intentions. These associations were mediated by intergroup anxiety. Study 2 (N=60) replicated these effects and additionally showed that anxiety mediates the influence of extended contact on the same outcome measures. Discussion focuses on the implications of the results for strategies aimed at improving relations between non-Muslims and Muslims.
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Imagined intergroup contact (Crisp & R. Turner, 2009) is a new indirect contact strategy for promoting tolerance and more positive intergroup relations. In this chapter, we review existing research on imagined contact and propose two routes—cognitive and affective—through which it can exert a positive influence on contact-related attitudes and intentions. We first review research that has established the beneficial impacts of imagined contact on intergroup attitudes via reduced intergroup anxiety, supporting its efficacy as an intervention where there exists little or no opportunity for direct contact. We then review more recent research showing that imagined contact not only improves attitudes, but can also enhance intentions to engage in future contact. These studies suggest that contact imagery provides a behavioural script that forms the cognitive basis for subsequent judgements about future contact intentions. Collectively, the findings from this research programme support the idea that imagined contact can complement more direct forms of contact—providing a way of initially encouraging an interest in engaging positively with outgroups before introducing face-to-face encounters. We discuss the implications of these findings for future theory and research, and how they can inform prejudice-reduction interventions seeking to capitalise on the beneficial effects of mental imagery.
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The extended contact hypothesis proposes that knowledge that an in-group member has a close relationship with an out-group member can lead to more positive intergroup attitudes. Proposed mechanisms are the in-group or out-group member serving as positive exemplars and the inclusion of the out-group member's group membership in the self. In Studies 1 and 2, respondents knowing an in-group member with an out-group friend had less negative attitudes toward that out-group, even controlling for dispositional variables and direct out-group friendships. Study 3, with constructed intergroup-conflict situations (on the robbers cave model), found reduced negative out-group attitudes after participants learned of cross-group friendships. Study 4, a minimal group experiment, showed less negative out-group attitudes for participants observing an apparent in-group–out-group friendship. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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Researchers who study perspective taking are generally optimistic about the potential for interventions to improve intergroup perceptions. The current research provides new insight into the conditions that frame the intergroup outcomes of perspective taking. The results show that the effects of perspective taking are not always positive but depend on perspective takers' degree of identification with the in-group. In two experiments, we demonstrated that adopting the perspective of an out-group member can have damaging effects on intergroup perceptions among group members who are highly identified with the in-group. Specifically, compared with less committed members, those who identified highly with the in-group used a greater number of negative traits to describe the out-group following perspective taking. Such perspective taking also led participants with high in-group identification to judge the out-group less favorably. Understanding how social identity concerns frame the outcome of perspective taking is crucial to its effective employment in intergroup-relations programs.
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Recent years have witnessed a renewal of interest in intergroup contact theory. A meta-analysis of more than 500 studies established the theory's basic contention that intergroup contact typically reduces prejudices of many types. This paper addresses the issue of process: just how does contact diminish prejudice? We test meta-analytically the three most studied mediators: contact reduces prejudice by (1) enhancing knowledge about the outgroup, (2) reducing anxiety about intergroup contact, and (3) increasing empathy and perspective taking. Our tests reveal mediational effects for all three of these mediators. However, the mediational value of increased knowledge appears less strong than anxiety reduction and empathy. Limitations of the study and implications of the results are discussed. Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
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The present research experimentally evaluated whether exposure to Barack Obama, a positive counter-stereotypic exemplar, can result in a decrease in implicit anti-Black prejudice among non-Black participants. In order to undo any existing influence of exposure to Obama, we first exposed some participants to negative Black exemplars. Participants were assigned to one of three conditions where they were exposed subtly to negative Black exemplars, to negative Black exemplars and then Obama, or to neutral X's (i.e., control). Participants who were only primed with negative Black exemplars showed more implicit negativity toward Black people compared to the control group. Participants exposed to the same negative Black exemplars and then Obama showed a decrease in implicit racial bias levels compared to those in the negative exemplar only condition, providing experimental evidence that exposure to Obama can decrease implicit racial bias levels. These findings indicate that even subtle exposure to a positive, counter-stereotypic exemplar can reduce implicit prejudice.
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Cultivation research has identified several misrepresentations on television and has shown that the more people watch television, the more their beliefs correspond to the television world. In recent years, experimental research has demonstrated that fictional narratives are powerful means to change audience beliefs. Theories on the narrative structure of fictional narratives and disposition-based theories of media enjoyment suggest that televised fictional narratives tend to portray the world as a just place. We propose that the amount of fiction watched on television predicts the belief in a just world (BJW). Further, we assume this effect to be compatible with the television use/mean-world relationship expressed by cultivation theory. Two cross-sectional studies with N = 128 participants (German sample) and N = 387 (Austrian sample) corroborate our assumptions. The self-reported frequency of watching fiction on television was positively related to the BJW, whereas the general amount of television viewing was positively related to mean- and scary-world beliefs. In the German sample, mean-world beliefs were also affected by viewing tabloid-style (infotainment) television news.
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A model is presented that traces the origins of the anxiety people experience when interacting with outgroup members to fear of negative psychological or behavioral consequences for the self and fear of negative evaluations by ingroup or outgroup members. Prior relations between the groups, intergroup cognitions, the structure of the situation, and personal experience are hypothesized to determine the amount of anxiety that participants in intergroup interactions experience. It is proposed that high levels of intergroup anxiety amplify normative behavior patterns, cause cognitive and motivational information-processing biases, intensify self-awareness, lead to augmented emotional reactions, and polarize evaluations of outgroup members. Regression analyses of data from Hispanic students indicate that high levels of intergroup anxiety are associated with low levels of contact with outgroup members, stereotyping of outgroup members, and assumed dissimilarity to outgroup members.
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Three experiments examined the impact of incidental emotions on implicit intergroup evaluations. Experiment 1 demonstrated that for unknown social groups, two negative emotions that are broadly applicable to intergroup conflict (anger and disgust) both created implicit bias where none had existed before. However, for known groups about which perceivers had prior knowledge, emotions increased implicit prejudice only if the induced emotion was applicable to the outgroup stereotype. Disgust increased bias against disgust-relevant groups (e.g., homosexuals) but anger did not (Experiment 2); anger increased bias against anger-relevant groups (e.g., Arabs) but disgust did not (Experiment 3). Consistent with functional theories of emotion, these findings suggest that negative intergroup emotions signal specific types of threat. If the emotion-specific threat is applicable to prior expectations of a group, the emotion ratchets up implicit prejudice toward that group. However, if the emotion-specific threat is not applicable to the target group, evaluations remain unchanged.
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Can the media reduce intergroup prejudice and conflict? Despite the high stakes of this question, understanding of the mass media's role in shaping prejudiced beliefs, norms, and behavior is limited. A yearlong field experiment in Rwanda tested the impact of a radio soap opera featuring messages about reducing intergroup prejudice, violence, and trauma in 2 fictional Rwandan communities. Compared with a control group who listened to a health radio soap opera, listeners' perceptions of social norms and their behaviors changed with respect to intermarriage, open dissent, trust, empathy, cooperation, and trauma healing. However, the radio program did little to change listeners' personal beliefs. Group discussion and emotion were implicated in the process of media influence. Taken together, the results point to an integrated model of behavioral prejudice and conflict reduction that prioritizes the communication of social norms over changes in personal beliefs.
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In this article, we attempt to distinguish between the properties of moderator and mediator variables at a number of levels. First, we seek to make theorists and researchers aware of the importance of not using the terms moderator and mediator interchangeably by carefully elaborating, both conceptually and strategically, the many ways in which moderators and mediators differ. We then go beyond this largely pedagogical function and delineate the conceptual and strategic implications of making use of such distinctions with regard to a wide range of phenomena, including control and stress, attitudes, and personality traits. We also provide a specific compendium of analytic procedures appropriate for making the most effective use of the moderator and mediator distinction, both separately and in terms of a broader causal system that includes both moderators and mediators.
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Results of 3 experiments suggest that feeling empathy for a member of a stigmatized group can improve attitudes toward the group as a whole. In Experiments 1 and 2, inducing empathy for a young woman with AIDS (Experiment 1) or a homeless man (Experiment 2) led to more positive attitudes toward people with AIDS or toward the homeless, respectively. Experiment 3 tested possible limits of the empathy-attitude effect by inducing empathy toward a member of a highly stigmatized group, convicted murderers, and measuring attitudes toward this group immediately and then 1-2 weeks later. Results provided only weak evidence of improved attitudes toward murderers immediately but strong evidence of improved attitudes 1-2 weeks later.
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We used fMRI to explore the neural substrates involved in the unconscious evaluation of Black and White social groups. Specifically, we focused on the amygdala, a subcortical structure known to play a role in emotional learning and evaluation. In Experiment 1, White American subjects observed faces of unfamiliar Black and White males. The strength of amygdala activation to Black-versus-White faces was correlated with two indirect (unconscious) measures of race evaluation (Implicit Association Test [IAT] and potentiated startle), but not with the direct (conscious) expression of race attitudes. In Experiment 2, these patterns were not obtained when the stimulus faces belonged to familiar and positively regarded Black and White individuals. Together, these results suggest that amygdala and behavioral responses to Black-versus-White faces in White subjects reflect cultural evaluations of social groups modified by individual experience.
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Transportation was proposed as a mechanism whereby narratives can affect beliefs. Defined as absorption into a story, transportation entails imagery, affect, and attentional focus. A transportation scale was developed and validated. Experiment 1 (N = 97) demonstrated that extent of transportation augmented story-consistent beliefs and favorable evaluations of protagonists. Experiment 2 (N = 69) showed that highly transported readers found fewer false notes in a story than less-transported readers. Experiments 3 (N = 274) and 4 (N = 258) again replicated the effects of transportation on beliefs and evaluations; in the latter study, transportation was directly manipulated by using processing instructions. Reduced transportation led to reduced story-consistent beliefs and evaluations. The studies also showed that transportation and corresponding beliefs were generally unaffected by labeling a story as fact or as fiction.
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Research on implicit stereotypes has raised important questions about an individual's ability to moderate and control stereotypic responses. With few strategies shown to be effective in moderating implicit effects, the present research investigates a new strategy based on focused mental imagery. Across 5 experiments, participants who engaged in counterstereotypic mental imagery produced substantially weaker implicit stereotypes compared with participants who engaged in neutral, stereotypic, or no mental imagery. This reduction was demonstrated with a variety of measures, eliminating explanations based on response suppression or shifts in response criterion. Instead, the results suggest that implicit stereotypes are malleable, and that controlled processes, such as mental imagery, may influence the stereotyping process at its early as well as later stages.
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The activation and control of affective race bias were measured using startle eyeblink responses (Study 1) and self-reports (Study 2) as White American participants viewed White and Black faces. Individual differences in levels of bias were predicted using E. A. Plant and P. G. Devine's (1998) Internal and External Motivation to Respond Without Prejudice scales (IMS/EMS). Among high-IMS participants, those low in EMS exhibited less affective race bias in their blink responses than other participants. In contrast, both groups of high-IMS participants exhibited less affective race bias in self-reported responses compared with low-IMS participants. Results demonstrate individual differences in implicit affective race bias and suggest that controlled, belief-based processes are more effectively implemented in deliberative responses (e.g., self-reports).
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Two experiments provide initial evidence that specific emotional states are capable of creating automatic prejudice toward outgroups. Specifically, we propose that anger should influence automatic evaluations of outgroups because of its functional relevance to intergroup conflict and competition, whereas other negative emotions less relevant to intergroup relations (e.g., sadness) should not. In both experiments, after minimal ingroups and outgroups were created, participants were induced to experience anger, sadness, or a neutral state. Automatic attitudes toward the in- and outgroups were then assessed using an evaluative priming measure (Experiment 1) and the Implicit Association Test (Experiment 2). As predicted, results showed that anger created automatic prejudice toward the outgroup, whereas sadness and neutrality resulted in no automatic intergroup bias. The implications of these findings for emotion-induced biases in implicit intergroup cognition in particular, and in social cognition in general, are considered.
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Research on implicit stereotypes has raised important questions about an individual's ability to moderate and control stereotypic responses. With few strategies shown to be effective in moderating implicit effects, the present research investigates a new strategy based on focused mental imagery. Across 5 experiments, participants who engaged in counterstereotypic mental imagery produced substantially weaker implicit stereotypes compared with participants who engaged in neutral, stereotypic, or no mental imagery. This reduction was demonstrated with a variety of measures, eliminating explanations based on response suppression or shifts in response criterion. Instead, the results suggest that implicit stereotypes are malleable, and that controlled processes, such as mental imagery, may influence the stereotyping process at its early as well as later stages.
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In reporting Implicit Association Test (IAT) results, researchers have most often used scoring conventions described in the first publication of the IAT (A. G. Greenwald, D. E. McGhee, & J. L. K. Schwartz, 1998). Demonstration IATs available on the Internet have produced large data sets that were used in the current article to evaluate alternative scoring procedures. Candidate new algorithms were examined in terms of their (a) correlations with parallel self-report measures, (b) resistance to an artifact associated with speed of responding, (c) internal consistency, (d) sensitivity to known influences on IAT measures, and (e) resistance to known procedural influences. The best-performing measure incorporates data from the IAT's practice trials, uses a metric that is calibrated by each respondent's latency variability, and includes a latency penalty for errors. This new algorithm strongly outperforms the earlier (conventional) procedure.
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Publisher Summary It is possible for one person to experience an emotion when he or she perceives that another person is experiencing an emotion. The relationship between action and the sharing of feelings is obviously not a simple or direct one. It is possible to study so subtle and important a phenomenon as empathy in the laboratory and to examine some of the determinants of empathy. The process leading to empathy can be understood in terms of cognitive variables such as the mental set that the person has when he or she observes the other. The form or type of social relationships between one person and another influences the amount of empathy, presumably because the form of the social relationship influences the manner of perceiving the other and thinking about him or her. Individual differences in reactions to social situations, in perceiving the other, and in thinking about him or her must be considered in predicting how much empathizing will occur. These individual differences appear to be determined in part by the birth order of the person.
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The literature suggests students gain important skills when directly involved with faculty in research. However, students at smaller institutions are often faced with limited research opportunities and faculty members are faced with limited participant-pools, funding, and space to perform research. Amazon's Mechanical Turk (MTurk) may provide a solution to many of these problems. MTurk provides an online human participant-pool, along with tools to build experiments, and it allows data to be collected quickly and inexpensively. In this study of narrative fiction and empathy, data was collected using the traditional, laboratory-based approach, and on MTurk using identical measures and protocols. Results indicated MTurk data exhibits comparable reliability, gender and ethnicity composition to data collected in the laboratory. Two important differences emerged: MTurk participants were 10 years older, on average, and they demonstrated higher scores on trait measures of empathy and state measures of involvement into the story presented in the study. A brief user's guide to MTurk is presented that caters to first-time users. Finally, common pitfalls and their solutions are presented with the hope that faculty and students can begin doing research on MTurk immediately.
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ABSTRACT This study tested the hypothesis that empathizing with out-group members is beneficial outside of, but not within, intergroup-contact situations. We predicted that in the context of intergroup interaction, the potential for evaluation would lead individuals' perspective-taking efforts to take on an egocentric and counterproductive flavor. As predicted, when empathy was instantiated during an intergroup exchange, it failed to exert its usual positive effect on intergroup attitudes and led higher-prejudice individuals to derogate an out-group member who was an interaction partner; empathy also blocked the prejudice-reducing influence of intergroup contact. Mediation analyses indicated that activation of negative metastereotypes regarding the out-group's view of the in-group accounted for these effects. The findings, which demonstrate ironic effects of empathy in intergroup interaction, indicate that interventions based on studies of individuals' reactions to out-group members in the abstract might have dramatically different consequences when put into practice in real exchanges between members of different groups.
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Helping and aggression are core topics in social psychology. So far, abundant evidence that violent media decreases helping and increases aggression has been collected. However, recent theoretical and empirical work has demonstrated that the media may also increase prosocial outcomes and decrease antisocial outcomes. In fact, exposure to media with prosocial content increases the accessibility of prosocial thoughts, empathy, and helping behavior and decreases aggression and aggression-related cognition and affect. The present article reviews this research and provides an overview of when and why media exposure instigates helping and reduces aggression.
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Three studies examined the relative valence and strength of implicit attitudes toward Arab-Muslims using the Implicit Association Test (IAT) while exploring the moderation of such implicit effects. Studies have suggested that repeated exposure to information associating members of a social group (e.g., Arab-Muslims) with evaluative attributes (e.g., terrorism) might create automatic attitudes toward them. Consistent with this notion, the IAT results indicated strong implicit preference for White over Arab-Muslim, whereas the magnitude of such a bias was substantially diminished when assessed by explicit measures (Study 1). It is also interesting to note that participants exhibited implicit preference for Black over Arab-Muslim when measured by the IAT, whereas no difference was found between the 2 groups in stimulus familiarity and in explicit attitudes (Studies 2 and 3). However, such implicit effects were moderated when participants were exposed to positive information about Arab-Muslims (Study 3). Theoretical and practical implications of these findings are further discussed.
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Theorists from diverse disciplines purport narrative fiction serves to foster empathic development and growth. In two studies, participants’ subjective, behavioral, and perceptual responses were observed after reading a short fictional story. In study 1, participants who were more transported into the story exhibited higher affective empathy and were more likely to engage in prosocial behavior. In study 2, reading-induced affective empathy was related to greater bias toward subtle, fearful facial expressions, decreased perceptual accuracy of fearful expressions, and a higher likelihood of engaging in prosocial behavior. These effects persisted after controlling for an individual’s dispositional empathy and general tendency to become absorbed in a story. This study provides an important initial step in empirically demonstrating the influence of reading fiction on empathy, emotional perception, and prosocial behavior.
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We investigated the relationship between Whites’ and ethnic minorities’ concerns about appearing prejudiced and anxiety during daily interracial interactions. College roommate pairs completed an individual difference measure of concerns about appearing prejudiced at the beginning of the semester. Then they completed measures of anxiety and perceptions of their roommates’ anxiety-related behaviors for 15 days. Results indicated that among interracial roommate pairs, Whites’ and ethnic minorities’ concerns about appearing prejudiced were related to their self-reported anxiety on a daily basis; but this was not the case among same-race roommate pairs. In addition, among interracial roommate pairs, roommates who were concerned about appearing prejudiced began to “leak” their anxiety towards the end of the diary period, as indicated by their out-group roommate who perceived their anxious behaviors as increasing across time, and who consequently liked them less. The implications of these findings for intergroup relations are discussed in this article.
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Many research fields concerned with the processing of information contained in human faces would benefit from face stimulus sets in which specific facial characteristics are systematically varied while other important picture characteristics are kept constant. Specifically, a face database in which displayed expressions, gaze direction, and head orientation are parametrically varied in a complete factorial design would be highly useful in many research domains. Furthermore, these stimuli should be standardised in several important, technical aspects. The present article presents the freely available Radboud Faces Database offering such a stimulus set, containing both Caucasian adult and children images. This face database is described both procedurally and in terms of content, and a validation study concerning its most important characteristics is presented. In the validation study, all frontal images were rated with respect to the shown facial expression, intensity of expression, clarity of expression, genuineness of expression, attractiveness, and valence. The results show very high recognition of the intended facial expressions.
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Recent studies have shown that imagining intergroup contact can improve attitudes held toward a range of social groups. We extended research on imagined contact by testing an elaborated task variant designed specifically to enhance future contact intentions. In three experiments imagined contact heightened intentions, elaborated imagery enhanced this effect, and these enhancements were attributable to both reduced intergroup anxiety and an increase in the reported vividness of the imagined scenario. Furthermore, prior contact enhanced the vividness with which imagined scenarios were envisaged, with concurrent benefits for future contact intentions. Results also supported the notion that elaboration creates a more accessible contact script upon which to base future judgments of intention. We discuss the implications of these findings for a developing model of imagined contact effects.
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In recent studies of the structure of affect, positive and negative affect have consistently emerged as two dominant and relatively independent dimensions. A number of mood scales have been created to measure these factors; however, many existing measures are inadequate, showing low reliability or poor convergent or discriminant validity. To fill the need for reliable and valid Positive Affect and Negative Affect scales that are also brief and easy to administer, we developed two 10-item mood scales that comprise the Positive and Negative Affect Schedule (PANAS). The scales are shown to be highly internally consistent, largely uncorrelated, and stable at appropriate levels over a 2-month time period. Normative data and factorial and external evidence of convergent and discriminant validity for the scales are also presented. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2010 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Emotions influence information processing because they are assumed to carry valuable information. We predict that induced anger will increase ethnic but not gender intergroup bias because anger is related to conflicts for resources, and ethnic groups typically compete for resources, whereas gender groups typically engage in relations of positive interdependence. Furthermore, we also predict that this increased ethnic intergroup bias should only be observed among men because men show more group-based reactions to intergroup conflict than women do. Two studies, with 65 and 120 participants, respectively, indeed show that anger induction increases ethnic but not gender intergroup bias and only for men. Intergroup bias was measured with an implicit measure. In Study 2, we additionally predict (and find) that fear induction does not change ethnic or gender intergroup bias because intergroup bias is a psychological preparation for collective action and fear is not associated with taking action against out-groups. We conclude that the effect of anger depends on its specific informational potential in a particular intergroup context. These results highlight that gender groups differ on a crucial point from ethnic groups and call for more attention to the effect of people's gender in intergroup relations research
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Two studies with 182 White female college students investigated the effects of cognitive busyness on the activation and application of stereotypes. In Exp 1, not-busy Ss who were exposed to an Asian target showed evidence of stereotype activation, but busy Ss (who rehearsed an 8-digit number during their exposure) did not. In Exp 2, cognitive busyness once again inhibited the activation of stereotypes about Asians. However, when stereotype activation was allowed to occur, busy Ss (who performed a visual search task during their exposure) were more likely to apply these activated stereotypes than were not-busy Ss. Together, these findings suggest that cognitive busyness may decrease the likelihood that a particular stereotype will be activated but increase the likelihood that an activated stereotype will be applied. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Two studies were conducted to provide reliability and validity support for a new anti-Arab prejudice scale. The scale was designed to fit to the European context and showed very satisfactory reliability. Moreover, both studies provided convergent validity support. Anti-Arab prejudice was correlated with authoritarianism, anti-Semitism, and conservatism. The correlation between the new scale and an adapted version of McConahay's (1986) Modern Racism scale was very strong. Furthermore, the second study provided predictive validity support. Scores in the new scale explained 20% of the variance in an ulterior actual behavior (to return a signed form supporting an association aimed to defend European values and culture against Islamization).
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How does intergroup anxiety affect the activation of implicit racial evaluations and stereotypes? Given the common basis of social anxiety and implicit evaluative processes in memory systems linked to classical conditioning and affect, we predicted that intergroup anxiety would amplify implicit negative racial evaluations. Implicit stereotyping, which is associated primarily with semantic memory systems, was not expected to increase as a function of intergroup anxiety. This pattern was observed among White participants preparing to interact with Black partners, but not those preparing to interact with White partners. These findings shed new light on how anxiety, often elicited in real-life intergroup interactions, can affect the operation of implicit racial biases, suggesting that intergroup anxiety has more direct implications for affective and evaluative forms of implicit bias than for implicit stereotyping. These findings also support a memory-systems model of the interplay between emotion and cognition in the context of social behavior. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved).