Multicultural Experiences Influence Attitudes toward Different Groups: The Role of Social Identities

Head shot of Ayaka Iwasaki

Name: Ayaka Iwasaki
Major: Psychology
Minor: Education
Advisor: Amber Garcia; Amy Jo Stavnezer (second reader)

One’s identification with social groups influences attitudes toward different groups. Identity as human, one of the most inclusive social categories, can be a foundation of prosocial attitudes toward diversity in the world we live in today. The current study investigated the associations between multicultural experiences (i.e., contact with cultural members and experiences with cultural elements), humanitarian helping, and negative intergroup attitudes (measured by negative attitudes toward immigrants, ethnocentrism, and racism against Zainichi Koreans, Korean minorities in Japan). It also examined the mediating role of two factors of identification with all humanity (IWAH): (1) concern for all humanity and (2) bond with all humanity. Japanese participants (N = 102) answered an online survey on these measures. It was hypothesized that those with multicultural experiences have less negative intergroup attitudes and more humanitarian helping through identification with all humanity. Consistent with the hypothesis, results show that participants with more frequent multicultural experiences had less negative intergroup attitudes and more humanitarian helping. However, the mediating role of identification with all humanity was only partially supported by the results. Thus, the current research suggests that daily interaction with different cultures can diminish negative attitudes and enhance positive attitudes toward members of different social groups. Future research should address the effects of quality and perception of multicultural experiences and how identity salience facilitates the change of intergroup attitudes.

Keywords: multicultural experiences, intergroup attitude, superordinate identity, identification with all humanity

Posted in Comments Enabled, Independent Study, Symposium 2023 on April 12, 2023.

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