Date of Award

2014

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Psychology

Abstract

Although racial prejudice remains a prevalent social phenomenon, research has demonstrated that positive contact - most notably intergroup friendship - predicts decreased prejudice. Whites, however, may be hesitant to develop intergroup friendships because they experience negative emotions like anxiety when faced with the prospect of interacting with outgroup members (i.e., Blacks). Past research has countered this obstacle by relying on manipulations that reframe how individuals feel about intergroup interactions to increase willingness to engage with outgroup members. Building on this framework, I tested whether savoring a previous intergroup interaction could increase friendship willingness by increasing positive intergroup emotions (Study 1) and whether processing style would moderate this effect (Study 2). Results indicated that although White individuals were able to savor previous interactions with Blacks, encouraging them to do so did little to increase intergroup friendship willingness and this effect was not mediated by positive intergroup emotions. Moreover, processing style did not moderate this effect. However, trait savoring was linked with both positive intergroup emotions and increased intergroup friendship willingness. These findings suggest that although savoring a previous intergroup interaction may not be an effective way to encourage intergroup friendship willingness, individual differences in the capacity to savor may explain why some are more willing to seek intergroup friendships.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

Share

COinS