West, Keon; Husnu, Shenel; Lipps, Garth Earth; Crisp, R.J.
Author Affiliation, Ana.
Imagined Contact Works in High-Prejudice Contexts: Investigating imagined contact's effects on anti-gay prejudice in Cyprus and Jamaica
Sexuality Research and Social Policy
Date of Publication
A growing body of evidence demonstrates that imagined contact can reduce prejudice in a variety of ways, against numerous groups, and in varied social contexts. Imagined contact has thus been suggested as an option for prejudice reduction where direct contact strategies may not be easy or practical. However, no research to date has tested imagined contact in high-prejudice contexts where direct contact is not a feasible option. In two experiments (N = 42, N = 100) we investigated whether imagined contact could be successfully applied as an intervention to reduce prejudice against gay men in two societies where direct contact would be particularly difficult or rare – Cyprus and Jamaica. Despite the relatively high prejudice against gay men reported in both societies, we found that imagined contact successfully improved attitudes, behavioural intentions and social acceptance. We discuss the implications for imagined contact’s use as a real-world intervention when direct contact strategies might not be plausible.....