Reach out and reduce prejudice: The impact of interpersonal touch on intergroup liking

Charles Seger, Eliot Smith, Elise Percy, Frederica Conrey

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15 Citations (Scopus)
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A brief, casual interpersonal touch results in positive behavior toward the toucher, presumably because touch is a cue to friendship. Research on intergroup contact shows that feelings of friendship toward an individual outgroup member reduce prejudice toward that entire group. Integrating these areas, we examined whether interpersonal touch by an outgroup member could reduce prejudice. In three replications in two studies, interpersonal touch decreased implicit, though not explicit, prejudice toward the toucher's group. Effects of interpersonal touch can extend beyond the toucher to others sharing the toucher's ethnicity, and findings suggest that such effects are automatic and outside conscious awareness.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)51-58
Number of pages8
JournalBasic and Applied Social Psychology
Issue number1
Early online date10 Feb 2014
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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