Journal of Applied Social Psychology

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Volume 4 Issue 1 (March 1974), Pages 1-93

Differentiation Matching in School Desegregation Workshops (pages 36-46)

The effectiveness of matching the conceptual structure of participants in educational training and psychotherapy experiences has been demonstrated in previous research. This paper describes an attempt to test the effectiveness of this model in a school desegregation workshop designed to promote a mandatory bussing proposal by a local school board. Differentiation matching had little effect on participants' global judgments of satisfaction with workshop goals but was significantly and inversely related to the decision to voluntarily bus a child, especially among blacks. Abstractness of topics discussed affected participant endorsement of workshop goals but did not affect bussing decision. The findings suggest that how such workshops are organized is dependent on whether the workshop success is to be evaluated on the basis of community public relations or actual decisions to bus children.

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