Intergroup anxiety is the anxiety people feel when interacting with members of social groups different from their own (i.e., outgroups). For example, American employees who travel to Japan for work might be worried that they will unintentionally offend their Japanese counterparts. In essence, then, intergroup anxiety is a negative feeling or affective state. It is usually measured by asking people the degree to which they would expect to experience anxiety-related emotions, such as feeling uncomfortable, nervous, and anxious, during interactions with outgroup members (counterbalanced with questions about feeling the opposite of anxious—comfortable and at ease).

People experience intergroup anxiety because of a cognitive appraisal that intergroup interactions will have negative consequences. The potential negative consequences include negative psychological outcomes for the self (e.g., being confused, feeling ...

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