(Close) distance makes the heart grow fonder:Improving implicit racial attitudes and interracial interactions through approach behaviors.J Pers Soc Psychol. 2007 Jun; 92(6):957-71.JP
In 4 studies, the authors examined the effect of approaching Blacks on implicit racial attitudes and immediacy behaviors. In Studies 1-3, participants were trained to pull a joystick toward themselves or to push it away from themselves when presented with photographs of Blacks, Whites, or Asians before completing an Implicit Association Test to measure racial bias. In Study 4, the effect of this training procedure on nonverbal behavior in an interracial contact situation was investigated. Results from the studies demonstrated that approaching Blacks decreased participants' implicit racial prejudice and increased immediacy when interacting with a Black confederate. The implications of these findings for current theories on approach, avoidance, and intergroup relations are discussed.