English title: Re-assessing self-interest theory: Can intergroup contact constrain self-interested reactions?

Author(s): Jens Peter Thomsen - Anders E. Birkmose -

Language: English

Type: Journal article

Year: 2015


This article expands previous research on self-interested reactions and intergroup contact by showing that (1) intergroup contact constrains the impact of personal economic vulnerability on perceived out-group threat, (2) personal economic vulnerability has no influence on perceived out-group threat when contact is most intense, and (3) the ability of intergroup contact to reduce perceived out-group threat is strongest among the most economically vulnerable. These findings were generated by a fixed-effects regression of 21 countries and almost 34,000 respondents sampled in the European Social Survey (2002–2003). More generally, our findings suggest that self-interested reactions can be overpowered by the cognitive and affective components of intergroup contact. The concluding section expands on the theoretical implications of the results.

Volume: 56

Issue: 2

From page no: 98

To page no: 115

Refereed: Yes

DOI: 10.1177/0020715215598351

Journal: International Journal of Comparative Sociology

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