Although creating positive cross-group contact can improve attitudes, it may also reduce collective action orientation (CAO). Minority group members who have positive interpersonal interactions with majority group members may be less likely to perceive their group’s low status as unjust or to experience strong collective control; both essential to a strong CAO (see Wright & Lubensky, 2009). Two studies tested whether majority group members’ expressions of unrepresentative emotions (guilt, shame, and ingroup-directed anger) regarding intergroup inequality would allow for positive cross-group interactions between majority and minority group members, without undermining minority group members’ CAO. Findings confirmed that expressions of anger, guilt, and shame by a majority group member were seen as unrepresentative, and interactions including these expressions can be experienced as positive by minority group members. In addition, minority group members exposed to expressions of anger reported higher CAO, while those exposed to expressions of guilt reported lower CAO.
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Thesis advisor: Wright, Stephen C.
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