Effects of diversity versus segregation on automatic approach and avoidance behavior towards own and other ethnic groups

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We present the results of a study in which we measured automatic intergroup behavior and evaluations in ethnic majority and minority group members. We focus our attention on the level of segregation and diversity of immediate life contexts as indicators of outgroup exposure. Specifically, Dutch ethnic minority and majority students enrolled at ethnically segregated and diverse schools completed a measure of automatic approach and avoidance behavior and reported explicit intergroup attitudes. The research is framed into prevailing theories in the field: Social Identity Theory and System Justification Theory. Results of our study suggest that segregation of minority group members' immediate life context may be an important moderator of evaluations as well as approach and avoidance behavior toward ingroup and outgroup. In particular, minority members in segregated schools showed an approach bias towards their ingroup, whereas minority members in diverse schools showed an approach bias towards the majority outgroup.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Social Psychology
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)783-791
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 01.10.2016
Externally publishedYes

    Research areas

  • ingroup favoritism, system justification, intergroup relations, segregation, diversity, implicit attitudes, approach-avoidance behavior
  • Psychology