Capozza, D., Falvo, R., Favara, I., & Trifiletti, E.
The relationship between direct and indirect cross-group friendships and outgroup humanization: Emotional and cognitive mediators
In the current study, we tested a model in which cross-group friendships and extended contact are related to improved outgroup humanization through the mediation of emotional, identity, and normative factors. As first-level mediators, we used ingroup norms, outgroup norms, and the inclusion of the outgroup in the self mechanism (IOS); as second-level mediators, we used intergroup anxiety, trust, and empathy. The outcome variable was outgroup humanization, namely the attribution of uniquely human traits to the outgroup. The intergroup context investigated was that between Northern and Southern Italians. Participants were Northern Italian students. Data — correlational — were analyzed by using structural equation models, and bootstrap procedures for mediation. Findings revealed that IOS was the only significant first-level mediator for direct friendships, and ingroup norms was the only significant first-level mediator for extended contact. All the three emotions were involved in the relationship between friendships and outgroup humanization. Limitations of the study, future research, and potential applications of findings are discussed.Back