Using Celebrity News Stories to Effectively Reduce Racial/Ethnic Prejudice
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© 2015 The Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues. This article argues that exposure to admirable media celebrities from racial/ethnic outgroups is an effective, proactive, and viable strategy for prejudice reduction and intergroup harmony. It uses mediated contact and exemplification theories to demonstrate that reading news stories about likable outgroup media personalities who serve as counter-stereotypic exemplars can subtly modify racial attitudes, which are malleable and context-sensitive. Specifically, results from a between-participants experiment (N = 88) show that exposure to news stories about counter-stereotypic African American media personalities as compared to stereotypical ones reduces stereotypical perceptions and symbolic racist beliefs of White Americans about African Americans. Furthermore, these favorable attitudes translate into an increased willingness to support affirmative action policies.
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