• Huseyin Cakal School of Psychology, Keele University, UK
  • Nebojša Petrović Department of Psychology, Faculty of Philosophy, University of Belgrade, Serbia



contact, social identity, trust, collective guilt, forgiveness


Intergroup contact reduces prejudice and improves outgroup attitudes, while a salient social identity might have the opposite effects. Recent research has shown that exposure to positive information about the outgroup could influence such effects of the contact and social identity on the outgroup attitudes. Here we investigate the effects of the contact and social identity on the outgroup attitudes, and forgiveness toward the outgroup of Bosniak Muslims among Serbs (N = 400), by randomly allocating them into control and experimental groups. In the experimental condition, the students were presented with brief biographies of three eminent Bosniak Muslims, in the positive context, after which they collected the survey. In the control group, students were only presented with the survey without the biographies. Subsequent independent samples t-tests showed that the mean values for ingroup identification and intergroup trust were significantly different in the two groups. Specifically, participants who were in the experimental condition, being exposed to the positive information about Bosniak Muslims, reported a higher level of intergroup trust and a lower level of ingroup identification as Serbian. We then performed a multi-group structural equation modeling through which we tested a predictive role of the past contact and in-the group identification on trust and collective guilt in both control and experimental conditions. Across both groups, past contact positively and ingroup identification negatively predicted both intergroup attitudes and forgiveness via trust and collective guilt. Exposure to the positive information about the outgroup moderated the indirect effects of the ingroup identification on the intergroup attitudes via collective guilt.


Metrics Loading ...

Author Biographies

Huseyin Cakal, School of Psychology, Keele University, UK

School of Psychology, Keele University, UK

Nebojša Petrović, Department of Psychology, Faculty of Philosophy, University of Belgrade, Serbia

Department of Psychology, Faculty of Philosophy, University of Belgrade, Serbia


Abrams, D., Eller, A., & Bryant, J. (2006). An age apart: Effects of intergenerational contact and stereotype threat on performance and intergroup bias. Psychology and Aging, 2, 691–702. doi:10.1037/0882-7974.21.4.69
Abrams, D., & Hogg, M. (1988). Comments on the motivational status of self-esteem in social identity and intergroup discrimination. European Journal of Social Psychology, 18, 317–334.
Allport, G. W. (1954). The nature of prejudice. Garden City, NY: Doubleday.
Balliet, D., & Van Lange, P. A. M. (2013). Trust, conflict, and cooperation: A meta-analysis. Psychological Bulletin, 139, 1090–112. doi:10.1037/a0030939
Bentler, P. (2007). On tests and indices for evaluating structural models. Personality and Individual Differences, 42, 825–829. doi:10.1016/j.paid.2006.09.024
Branscombe, N. R., & Doosje, B. (2004). International perspectives on the experience of collective guilt. In N. R. Branscombe & B. Doosje (Eds.), Collective guilt: International perspectives (pp. 3–15). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
Branscombe, N. R., Doosje, B., & McGarty, C. (2003). Antecedents and consequences of collective guilt. In D. M. Mackie & E. R. Smith (Eds.), From prejudice to intergroup emotions: Differentiated reactions to social groups (pp. 49–66). New York, NY: Psychology Press.
Brown, R., Cehajic, S., & Castano, E. (2008). Forgive and forget? Antecedents and consequences of intergroup forgiveness in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Political Psychology, 29, 351–367. doi:10.1111/j.1467-9221.2008.00634.x
Cakal, H., Hewstone, M., Guler, M., & Heath, A. (2016). Predicting support for collective action in the conflict between Turks and Kurds: Perceived threat as a mediator of intergroup contact and social identity.Group Processes & Intergroup Relations, 19, 732–752. doi:10.1177/1368430216641303
Cehajic, S., & Brown, R. (2010). Silencing the past: Effects of intergroup contact on acknowledgment of ingroup responsibility. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 1, 190–196. doi:10.1177/1948550609359088
Čehajić, S., & Brown, R. (2008). Not in my name: A social psychological study of antecedents and consequences of acknowledgment of ingroup atrocities. Genocide Studies and Prevention, 3, 195–211. doi:10.3138/gsp.3.2.195
Corkalo, D., Ajdukovic, D., Weinstein, H., Stover, E., Djipa, D., & Biro, M. (2004). Neighbors again? Intercommunity relations after ethnic cleansing. In E. Stover & H. M. Weinstein (Eds.), My neighbor, my enemy (pp. 143–161). New York, NY: Cambridge University Press. doi:10.1017/CBO9780511720352
Crisp, R. J., & Abrams, D. (2009). Improving intergroup attitudes and reducing stereotype threat: An integrated contact model. European Review of Social Psychology, 19, 242–284. doi:10.1080/10463280802547171
Doosje, B. (2006). Antecedents and consequences of group-based guilt: The effects of ingroup identification. Group Processes and Intergroup Relations, 9, 325–338. doi:10.1177/1368430206064637
Doosje, B., Branscombe, N. R., Spears, R., & Manstead, A. S. R. (2004). Consequences of national ingroup identification for responses to immoral historical events. In N. R. Branscombe & B. Doosje (Eds.), Collective guilt: International perspectives (pp. 95–111). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
Duckitt, J., & Mphuthing, T. (1998). Group identification and intergroup attitudes: a longitudinal analysis in South Africa. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 74, 80–85. doi:10.1037/0022-3514.74.1.80
Freeman, C. M. L. (2012). The psychosocial need for intergroup contact : Practical suggestions for reconciliation initiatives in Bosnia and Herzegovina and beyond. Intervention, 10, 17–29.
Gómez, A., & Huici, C. (2008). Vicarious intergroup contact and the role of authorities in prejudice reduction. The Spanish Journal of Psychology, 11, 103–114.
Hair, J. F., Black, W., Babin, B., & Anderson, R. E. (2010). Multivariate data analysis (7th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice-Hall.
Harth, N. S., Kessler, T., & Leach, C. W. (2008). Advantaged group’s emotional reactions to intergroup inequality: The dynamics of pride, guilt, and sympathy. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 34, 115–129. doi:10.1177/0146167207309193
Haslam, S. A., Oakes, P. J., Turner, J. C., & McGarty, C. (1996). Social identity, self-categorization, and the perceived homogeneity of ingroups and outgroups: The interaction between social motivation and cognition. In R. Sorrentino & E. Higgins (Eds.), Handbook of motivation and cognition: The interpersonal context (pp. 182–222). New York, NY: Guilford Press.
Hayes, A. (2013). Introduction to mediation, moderation, and conditional process analysis: A regression-based approach. New York, NY: Guilford.
Hewstone, M., Cairns, E., McLernon, F., Niens, U., & Noor, M. (2004). Intergroup forgiveness and guilt in Northern Ireland: Social psychological dimensions of “The Troubles.” In N. R. Branscombe & B. Doosje (Eds.), Collective guilt: International perspectives (pp. 193–215). Cambridge, MA: Cambridge University Press.
Hewstone, M., Cairns, E., Voci, A., Hamberger, J., & Niens, U. (2006). Intergroup contact, forgiveness, and experience of “The Troubles ” in Northern Ireland. Journal of Social Issues, 62, 99–120. doi:10.1111/j.1540-4560.2006.00441.x
Hodson, R., Sekulic, D., & Massey, G. (1994). National tolerance in the former Yugoslavia. American Journal of Sociology, 99, 1534–1558. doi:10.1086/230453
Hu, L., & Bentler, P. M. (1999). Cutoff criteria for fit indices in covariance structure analysis: Conventional criteria versus new alternatives. Structural Equation Modeling, 6, 1–55. doi:10.1080/10705519909540118
Jaccard, J., & Wan, C. K. (1996). Lisrel approaches to interaction effects in multiple regression. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications.
Jelic, M., Biruski, D. C., & Ajdukovic, D. (2013). Predictors of collective guilt after the violent conflict. Collegium Antropologicum, 37, 1–10.
Joyce, N., & Harwood, J. (2012). Improving intergroup attitudes through televised vicarious intergroup contact: Social cognitive processing of ingroup and outgroup information. Communication Research, 41, 627–643. doi:10.1177/0093650212447944
Kline, R. B. (2011). Principles and practice of structural equation modelling (3rd ed.). New York, NY: The Guildford Press.
Luhtanen, R., & Crocker, J. (1992). A collective self-esteem scale: Self-evaluation of one’s social identity. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 18, 302–318. doi:10.1177/0146167292183006
Lytras, E., & Psaltis, C. (2011). Formerly mixed-villages in Cyprus: Representations of the past, present, and future. Cyprus: The Association for Historical Dialogue and Research.
Mazziotta, A., Mummendey, A., & Wright, S. C. (2011). Vicarious intergroup contact effects: Applying social-cognitive theory to intergroup contact research. Group Processes & Intergroup Relations, 14, 255–274. doi:10.1177/1368430210390533
Mirković, D. (1996). Ethnic conflict and genocide: Reflections on ethnic cleansing in the former Yugoslavia. Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 548, 191–199.
Mironova, V., & Whitt, S. (2014). Ethnicity and altruism after violence: The contact hypothesis in Kosovo. Journal of Experimental Political Science, 1, 170–180. doi:10.1017/xps.2014.18
Muthen, L. K., & Muthen, B. O. (2008a). Mplus software package. Los Angeles, CA, USA: Muthen & Muthen.
Muthen, L. K., & Muthen, B. O. (2008b). Mplus user’s guide (5th ed.). Los Angeles, CA: Muthen & Muthen.
Myers, E., & Cairns, E. (2009). Impact of conflict on mental health in Northern Ireland: The mediating role of intergroup forgiveness and collective guilt, 30, 269–290.
Papadakis, Y. (2008). Narrative, memory, and history education: A comparison of Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot schoolbooks on the “History of Cyprus.” History and Memory, 20, 128–148.
Petrović, N. (2017). Human potential for reconciliation: An attempt at the construction of the appropriate scale in the Balkans. Balkan Social Science Review, 9, 47–69.
Pettigrew, T. F. (1998). Intergroup contact theory. Annual Review of Psychology, 49, 65–85. doi:10.1146/annurev.psych.49.1.65
Pettigrew, T. F., & Tropp, L. R. (2008). How does intergroup contact reduce prejudice? Meta-analytic tests of three mediators. European Journal of Social Psychology, 38, 922–934. doi:10.1002/ejsp
Preacher, K. J., & Hayes, A. F. (2008). Asymptotic and resampling strategies for assessing and comparing indirect effects in multiple mediator models. Behavior Research Methods, 40, 879–891. doi:10.3758/BRM.40.3.879
Psaltis, C., Beydola, T., Filippou, G., & Vrachimis, N. (2014). Contested symbols as social,representations: The case of Cyprus. In S. L. Moeschberger & R. A. Phillips DeZalia (Eds.), Symbols that Bind, Symbols that Divide (pp. 61–89). Cham: Springer International Publishing. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-05464-3
Psaltis, C., & Cakal, H. (2016). Social identity in a divided Cyprus. In S. McKeown, R. Haji, & N. Ferguson (Eds.), Understanding peace and conflict through social identity theory: Contemporary and world-wide perspectives (pp. 229–244). New York: Springer.
Reicher, S., Haslam, S. A., & Rath, R. (2008). Making a virtue of evil: A five-step social identity model of the development of collective hate. Social and Personality Psychology Compass, 2, 1313–1344. doi:10.1111/j.1751-9004.2008.00113.x
Riek, B. M., Mania, E. W., & Gaertner, S. L. (2006). Intergroup threat and outgroup attitudes: A meta-analytic review. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 10, 336–353. doi:10.1207/s15327957pspr1004_4
Satorra, A., & Bentler, P. M. (2010). Ensuring positiveness of the scaled difference chi-square test statistic. Psychometrika, 75, 243–248. doi:10.1007/s11336-009-9135-y.
Smits, J. (2010). Ethnic intermarriage and social cohesion. What can we learn from Yugoslavia? Social Indicators Research, 96, 417–432. doi:10.1007/s11205-009-9485-y
Tajfel, H., & Turner, J. C. (1979). An integrative theory of intergroup conflict. In S. W. Worchel & W. G. Austin (Eds.), The social psychology of intergroup relations (Vol. 33, pp. 33–47). Monterey CA: Brookes Cole.
Tam, T., Hewstone, M., Kenworthy, J. B., Cairns, E., Marinetti, C., Geddes, L., & Parkinson, B. (2008). Post-conflict reconciliation: Intergroup forgiveness and implicit biases in Northern Ireland. Journal of Social Issues, 64, 303–320.
Tam, T., Hewstone, M., Kenworthy, J., & Cairns, E. (2009). Intergroup trust in Northern Ireland. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 35, 45–59. doi:10.1177/0146167208325004
Tausch, N., Hewstone, M., Kenworthy, J. B., Psaltis, C., Schmid, K., Popan, J. R., … Hughes, J. (2010). Secondary transfer effects of intergroup contact: Alternative accounts and underlying processes. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 99, 282–302. doi:10.1037/a0018553
Tausch, N., Kenworthy, J., Cairns, E., & Christ, O. (2007). Cross-community contact, perceived status differences, and intergroup attitudes in Northern Ireland: The mediating roles of individual-level versus group-level threats and the moderating role of social identification. Political Psychology, 28, 53–68. doi:10.1111/j.1467-9221.2007.00551.x.
Tropp, L. R. (2008). The role of trust in intergroup contact: Its significance and implications for improving relations between groups. In U. Wagner, L. R. Tropp, G. Finchilescu, & C. Tredoux (Eds.), Improving intergrouprelations: Building on the legacy of Thomas F. Pettigrew (pp. 91–106). Oxford, UK: Blackwell.
Turner, R. N., & Crisp, R. J. (2010). Explaining the relationship between ingroup identification and intergroup bias following recategorization: A self-regulation theory analysis. Group Processes and Intergroup Relations, 13, 251–261. doi:10.1177/1368430209351702
Vezzali, L., Hewstone, M., Capozza, D., & Wolfer, R. (2014). Improving intergroup relations with extended and vicarious forms of indirect contact. European Review of Social Psychology, 25(August 2016). doi:10.1080/10463283.2014.982948
Vezzali, L., Stathi, S., Crisp, R. J., Giovannini, D., Capozza, D., & Gaertner, S. L. (2015). Imagined intergroup contact and common ingroup identity: An integrative approach. Social Psychology, 46, 265–276.
Voci, A., Hadziosmanovic, E., Hewstone, M., Cakal, H., & Veneziani, C. (2017). Impact of pre-war and post-war intergroup contact on intergroup relations and mental health: Evidence from a Bosnian sample. Peace and Conflict: Journal of Peace Psychology, 23, 250–259. doi:10.1037/pac0000222
West, K., Holmes, E., & Hewstone, M. (2011). Enhancing imagined contact to reduce prejudice against people with schizophrenia. Group Processes & Intergroup Relations, 14, 407–428. doi:10.1177/1368430210387805
Williams, J., & MacKinnon, D. P. (2008). Resampling and distribution of the product methods for testing indirect effects in complex models. Structural Equation Modeling: A Multidisciplinary Journal, 15, 23–51. doi:10.1080/10705510701758166
Wohl, M. J. A., & Branscombe, N. R. (2005). Forgiveness and collective guilt assignment to historical perpetrator groups depend on level of social category inclusiveness. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 88, 288–303. doi:10.1037/0022-3514.88.2.288
Wright, S. C., Aron, A., McLaughlin-Volpe, T., & Ropp, S. A. (1997). The extended contact effect: Knowledge of cross-group friendships and prejudice. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 73, 73–90. doi:10.1037/0022-3514.73.1.73



How to Cite