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Contact Hypothesis

  • In: Encyclopedia of Identity
  • Edited by: Ronald L. Jackson II & Michael A. Hogg
  • Subject:Self & Identity, Identity, Self & Identity

In its most basic form, contact hypothesis posits that contact with members of another group (e.g., racial, ethnic, religious, class, or gender group) reduces prejudice toward the group. Since 1954, when the contact hypothesis was introduced by Gordon Allport in his book, The Nature of Prejudice, the hypothesis has elicited numerous studies and contributed to advancing the issue of intergroup relations. Because social categorization and sense of group membership constitute a base of the hypothesis, identity issues, ...

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