TASS_StarkPSPB13 - 480890 PSPXXX10.1177/ ality and Social...

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Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin 39(5) 608–622 © 2013 by the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, Inc Reprints and permission: sagepub.com/journalsPermissions.nav DOI: 10.1177/0146167213480890 pspb.sagepub.com Research on stereotype change has shown that people adjust their perception of groups to their personal experiences with individual members of those groups (Garcia-Marques & Mackie, 1999; Johnston & Hewstone, 1992; Kunda & Ole- son, 1997; Weber & Crocker, 1983). Previous research mainly focused on the effect of stereotype-disconfirming information or positive evaluations of individual outgroup members on the reduction of negative outgroup attitudes (e.g., Ensari & Miller, 2002; Kunda & Oleson, 1997). However, everyday interactions between members of different groups can also lead to negative experiences that confirm negative stereo- types or provide negative information about outgroup mem- bers (Pettigrew, 2008; Pettigrew & Tropp, 2006). Relatively little is known so far on whether negative evaluations of indi- vidual outgroup members (hereafter interpersonal attitudes) affect group stereotypes just as a negative mirror image of positive evaluations, or whether there is a qualitative differ- ence in such effects. Building on self-categorization theory (Turner, 1985), Paolini, Harwood, and Rubin (2010) recently proposed a positive-negative asymmetry; arguing that negative interper- sonal attitudes should more readily be generalized into out- group attitudes than positive interpersonal attitudes. These researchers found that negative encounters with outgroup members increased the awareness of group memberships. According to established theories of attitude generalization (Brown & Hewstone, 2005; Hewstone & Brown, 1986), the generalization of interpersonal attitudes is facilitated by the salience of group categories. Accordingly, it was proposed that negative interpersonal attitudes may have more impact on general outgroup attitudes than positive interpersonal atti- tudes (Paolini et al., 2010). However, a direct test of this proposition is still missing. In contrast, some earlier studies have attributed the correla- tion between negative attitudes toward individual outgroup members and the attitudes toward the outgroup in general to a reversed causal process (Stephan & Stephan, 1985). According to this view, negative perceptions of the outgroup increase anxiety about intergroup encounters (Allen, 1996; Stephan et al., 2002). This in turn may poison the perception of indi- vidual outgroup members. So far, these two competing causal processes have also not been empirically compared. 480890 1 Utrecht University, Netherlands 2 Stanford University, CA, USA 3 University of Groningen, Netherlands Corresponding Author: Tobias H. Stark, 300N McClatchy Hall, 450 Serra Mall, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305, USA. Email: [email protected] Generalization of Positive and Negative Attitudes Toward Individuals to Outgroup Attitudes Tobias H. Stark 1, 2 , Andreas Flache 3 , and René Veenstra 3 Abstract The generalization of attitudes toward individual outgroup members into attitudes toward the outgroup as a whole can affect intergroup relations. However, little is known about the relative strengths of the generalization of negative and positive
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