Journal of Community & Applied Social Psychology

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Volume 4 Issue 5 (December 1994), Pages fmi-fmi, 313-376

Intergroup contact between professional groups: Two evaluation studies (pages 347-363)


We report two studies which evaluate practically‐oriented programmes of interprofessional contact involving doctors and social workers. The evaluation is based on the ‘contact hypothesis’ in intergroup relations, and highlights four sets of dependent measures: background perceptions, ingroup and outgroup ratings, knowledge, and judgements about work with outgroup partners and experienced contact. Consistent with the contact hypothesis, both studies revealed an improvement in outgroup attitudes, evidence of mutual intergroup differentiation (acknowledged superiority of ingroup and outgroup on independent dimensions), and increased outgroup knowledge. Greater change in Study 2 is interpreted in terms of its longer duration, and the opportunity it provided for contact with multiple outgroup members, compared with a single outgroup partner in Study 1. These findings from field studies are consistent with results from published laboratory experiments.

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