Enhancing the imagined contact effect.J Soc Psychol. 2011 Jan-Feb; 151(1):113-6.JS
Recent research has found that mentally simulating positive out-group contact experiences can promote tolerance and more positive intergroup perceptions. We investigated two ways of enhancing this imagined contact effect. In Study 1 we found that asking participants to generate more detail in their imagined encounter led to expectations of their having a greater number of out-group acquaintances in the future. In Study 2 we found that instructing participants to close their eyes during an imagined encounter led to heightened intentions to engage in future actual contact. These findings add further support to the notion that imagining intergroup contact may be a valuable addition to existing interventions aimed at improving intergroup relations.