Educating to Tolerance: Effects of Communicating Social Psychology Research Findings
Francesco La Barbera
Department of Political Sciences, University of Naples Federico II, Naples, Italy
The effect of communicating social psychology research findings on ingroup bias in a classroom setting has been investigated. Two hundred and twenty one high school students either read or did not read a brief report about three classical social psychological studies, then completed evaluation scales for the ingroup and the outgroup. Participants’ motivation was manipulated, and the messages were different as regards the congruency between the content and participants’ actual intergroup experience. Results showed that communication exerted a significant effect in reducing ingroup bias for participants in the high motivation/high congruency condition, that is, the communication effect was moderated by the individual’s level of motivation and the content of the arguments proposed in the report. Practical implications of results for education work and stereotype change, limitations of the study, as well as possible directions for future research are discussed.