Intergroup Contact, Social Dominance and Environmental Concern: A Test of the Cognitive-Liberalization Hypothesis

Rose Meleady, Richard Crisp, Kristof Dhont, Tim Hopthrow, Rhiannon Turner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)
269 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Intergroup contact is among the most effective ways to improve intergroup attitudes. While it is now beyond any doubt that contact can reduce prejudice, in this paper we provide evidence that its benefits can extend beyond intergroup relations – a process referred to as cognitive liberalization (Hodson, Crisp, Meleady & Earle, 2018). We focus specifically on the impact of intergroup contact on environmentally-relevant attitudes and behavior. Recent studies suggest that support for an inequality-based ideology (Social Dominance Orientation) can predict both intergroup attitudes and broader environmental conduct. Individuals higher in SDO are more willing to exploit the environment in unsustainable ways because doing so aids the production and maintenance of hierarchical social structures. In four studies, we show that by promoting less hierarchical and more egalitarian viewpoints (reduced SDO), intergroup contact encourages more environmentally responsible attitudes and behavior. Both cross-sectional and longitudinal data support this model. Effects are more strongly explained by reductions in an anti-egalitarian motive (SDO-E) than a dominance motive (SDO-D). We discuss how these findings help define an expanded vision
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Personality and Social Psychology
Early online date23 May 2019
DOIs
Publication statusEarly online date - 23 May 2019

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Intergroup Contact, Social Dominance and Environmental Concern: A Test of the Cognitive-Liberalization Hypothesis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this