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Recent evidence suggests that both direct and indirect friendship with outgroup members (knowledge of ingroup members' friendship with outgroup members) can reduce prejudice toward the outgroup. Two surveys of cross-community relationships in Northern Ireland, using a student sample (N = 341) and a representative sample of the general population (N = 735), tested whether (a) direct and indirect friendships had generalized effects on both prejudice and perceived outgroup variability and (b) reduced anxiety about future encounters with outgroup members mediated such relationships. Structural equation modeling confirmed that, in both samples, direct and indirect cross-group friendships between Catholics and Protestants were associated with reduced prejudice toward the religious outgroup and increased perceived outgroup variability, via an anxiety-reduction mechanism. It is argued that emerging generalization hypotheses help to integrate both cognition and affect and interpersonal and intergroup approaches to contact.

Original publication

DOI

10.1177/0146167203262848

Type

Journal article

Journal

Pers Soc Psychol Bull

Publication Date

06/2004

Volume

30

Pages

770 - 786

Keywords

Adolescent, Adult, Anxiety, Catholicism, Cross-Sectional Studies, Data Collection, Female, Friends, Humans, Male, Northern Ireland, Prejudice, Protestantism, Social Conditions