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The Wallpaper Effect: The Contact Hypothesis Fails for Minority Group Members Who Live in Areas with a High Proportion of Majority Group Members

Costantini, Marcello, Barlow, Fiona Kate, Hornsey, Matthew J., Thai, Michael, Sengupta, Nikhil K., Sibley, Chris G. (2013) The Wallpaper Effect: The Contact Hypothesis Fails for Minority Group Members Who Live in Areas with a High Proportion of Majority Group Members. PLoS ONE, 8 (12). e82228. ISSN 1932-6203. (doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0082228) (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided) (KAR id:84614)

The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided.
Official URL
https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0082228

Abstract

We aim to provide one explanation for why the link between contact and prejudice is consistently less strong for minority group members than it is for majority group members. Specifically, we propose a “wallpaper effect” such that contact works to increase minority group members' positivity towards majority groups when they live in areas densely populated with other minority group members. Conversely, we suggest that when minority group members live in neighborhoods patterned with majority group faces (as is so often the case), contact will be less transformative. We test this assumption using a large sample of both New Zealander minority (Māori; N = 925) and majority (European; N = 3805) group members. In line with predictions, Māori who lived in minority dense neighborhoods showed the traditional association between contact and increased warmth towards New Zealander Europeans. This relationship, however, was weak or non-existent when they lived in primarily European neighborhoods. Contact effects in majority group members were unaffected by neighborhood composition. The interaction held when controlling for, and was not explained by: gender, income, experiences of harm, cognitions of race-based rejection, or realistic threat. We provide the first evidence to suggest that when it comes to minority group members' intergroup attitudes, contact with majority group members may be a relatively ineffective predictor unless the “wallpaper” of their lives is minority-dense.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1371/journal.pone.0082228
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Psychology
Depositing User: Nikhil Sengupta
Date Deposited: 30 Nov 2020 02:21 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Nov 2021 10:27 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/84614 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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