Recent research shows that extended contact via story reading is a powerful strategy to improve intergroup attitudes (e.g., Cameron & Rutland, 2006). We conducted three studies to test whether extended contact through reading the novels of Harry Potter reduced prejudice toward stigmatized groups (immigrants, homosexuals, refugees). Results from an experimental intervention conducted among Italian elementary school children and from two cross-sectional studies with high-school and university students in Italy and UK support our main hypothesis. Identification with the main character (i.e., Harry Potter), disidentification from the negative character (i.e., Voldemort) and recency of reading moderated the effect, perspective-taking emerged as the key mediator. Theoretical and practical implications of findings are discussed, together with the importance of identifying effective prejudice-reduction strategies that can be easily applied in real settings.

The greatest magic of Harry Potter: Reducing prejudice

Trifiletti, Elena
2015-01-01

Abstract

Recent research shows that extended contact via story reading is a powerful strategy to improve intergroup attitudes (e.g., Cameron & Rutland, 2006). We conducted three studies to test whether extended contact through reading the novels of Harry Potter reduced prejudice toward stigmatized groups (immigrants, homosexuals, refugees). Results from an experimental intervention conducted among Italian elementary school children and from two cross-sectional studies with high-school and university students in Italy and UK support our main hypothesis. Identification with the main character (i.e., Harry Potter), disidentification from the negative character (i.e., Voldemort) and recency of reading moderated the effect, perspective-taking emerged as the key mediator. Theoretical and practical implications of findings are discussed, together with the importance of identifying effective prejudice-reduction strategies that can be easily applied in real settings.
extended contact, indirect contact, prejudice reduction, intergroup relations, Harry Potter, perspective-taking
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11562/933479
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