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Principal Investigators:

Miles Hewstone, University of Oxford

Dr. Stefania Paolini, The University of Newcastle, Australia

Prof. Jake Harwood, University of Arizona, US

Associate Prof. David Neumann, Griffith University, Australia

Summary of research

Extensive research on group desegregation shows that intergroup contact (face-to-face interactions between people of opposing groups) should be encouraged for harmonious group relations; such contact maximises social integration, self-esteem, health, and productivity. Yet these benefits are often missed as people actively avoid intergroup contact. This research introduces a theoretically- and empirically-grounded typology of contact approach-avoidance that: (1) identifies personal and situational determinants driving outgroup approach in natural settings, (2) delineates outcomes of outgroup approach for psychological processes critical to intergroup relations, and (3) indicates new interventions for encouraging intergroup contact.