An Investigation of the Relationship Between Cross-Race Friendships and Attraction

Michael Thai*, Alexander W. O'Donnell, Rhiannon N. Turner, Fiona Kate Barlow

*Corresponding author for this work

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Four studies investigated the link between cross-race friendships and attraction. In Study 1, White Australian participants (N = 240) who reported friendships with racial outgroup members were more likely to report attraction to the members of the racial group their friends belonged to. Studies 2a (N = 300 White American participants) and 2b (N = 303 White British participants) showed that experiences of cross-race non-verbal intimacy, perceived cross-race reciprocity in attraction, positive perceived ingroup norms about dating cross-racially, and warmth toward the racial outgroup were particularly important in explaining the friendship–attraction link in majority samples. Study 3 (N = 292 Black British participants) showed that in addition to the mediators above, self-disclosure was key to explaining the friendship–attraction link for racial minority group members. These findings extend the contact literature by exploring the specificity and mediators of the link between contact and attraction in the context of race relations
Original languageEnglish
JournalPersonality and Social Psychology Bulletin
Early online date03 Jul 2021
Publication statusEarly online date - 03 Jul 2021


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