International Society of Political Psychology

Conference Abstracts

A Longitudinal Study of Inter-group Contact and Collective Action among Groups in Non-Violent Confli

Huseyin Cakal, University of Oxford; Miles Hewstone, University of Oxford; Charis Psaltis, Univeristy of Cyprus

Conference: ISPP 2011
Research Area: Social inequality and social change

We tested a model which considered the effects of intergroup contact and ingroup identification as predictors on collective action tendencies and outgroup attitudes via relative deprivation and perceived threats based on representative data from Cyprus (Study 1 Turkish Cypriots=994, Study 2 Greek Cypriots =990). Using a longitudinal design in both studies, and variety of contact measures i.e. quantity & quality and extended contact, our data supported a model where both quantity & quality of contact and extended contact had direct positive effect and indirect negative effect on collective action tendency via relative deprivation and symbolic threat in Study 1 across all three waves. As expected, ingroup identification had a positive indirect effect on collective action via relative deprivation and perceived threats. Contrary to our expectations and previous studies, however, ingroup identification had a direct negative effect on collective action tendency.   In Study 2 we tested a similar model with somehow larger effect sizes. Unlike Study 1, ingroup identification was positively and significantly associated with collective action tendency as expected. As in Study 1, intergroup contact consistently predicted relative deprivation and perceived threats but this effect was mediated by relative deprivation and realistic threat. There was no significant reverse causal association among these variables across all three waves. Comparing effect sizes, quality of contact had the largest effect on relative deprivation, perceived threats and outgroup attitudes. In neither of the studies, our data provided evidence in support of the direct sedating effect of contact on collective action. However in both studies an indirect effect was evident across all three waves.  Results are discussed in the context of negative effects of contact on collective action suggesting that more studies are needed to test the additional processes through which contact influences collective action tendencies.