INTERGROUP CONTACT AND INGROUP IDENTIFICATION AS PREDICTORS INTERGROUP ATTITUDES AND FORGIVENESS IN THE SERBIAN CONTEXT: THE MODERATING ROLE OF EXPOSURE TO POSITIVE INFORMATION
Keywords: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.
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