Contact hypothesis

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Under appropriate conditions, the best way to understand and appreciate different points of view and to reduce prejudice is to create interpersonal contact under appropriate conditions.

  • Equal status
  • Common goals
  • Intergroup cooperation
  • Support of authorities
  • Personal interaction

Cornell sociologist Robin Williams Jr. wrote about the contact hypothesis in, "The Reduction of Intergroup Tensions" (1947). Gordon W. Allport built on Williams's work in his 1954 book, The Nature of Prejudice. Linda Tropp and Thomas Pettigrew did a meta-analysis of contact hypothesis research in Reducing Prejudice and Discrimination (2000) that validated the hypothesis.

See Also