Journal of Community & Applied Social Psychology

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Volume 20 Issue 4 (July/August 2010), Pages 249-332

The effectiveness of intergroup contact at work: Mediators and moderators of hospital workers' prejudice towards immigrants (pages 317-330)

Abstract

The present research examines the effectiveness of intergroup contact between 167 Italian hospital workers and foreign patients in reducing prejudice towards immigrants in general. The outcomes of contact at work were analysed controlling for the influence of contact outside the workplace and through mass media, and taking into account the role of empathy, anxiety and group membership salience. Results indicate that the beneficial effects of contact at work were partially mediated by increased empathy and reduced anxiety, experienced both in the work environment and towards immigrants in general. Finally, high levels of group membership salience facilitated the influence of contact on intergroup emotions. These findings show that contact at work can be a powerful means to reduce prejudice, thanks to its capacity to evoke changes in affective responses. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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