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Learning by example: Exposure to others’ success improves people’s expectations about interracial contact Jennifer La. Cosse & E. Ashby Plant Department of Psychology, Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida Methods Cont. Introduction Specifically, negative self-efficacy beliefs contribute to interracial interaction anxiety and avoidance (e. g. , Plant and Butz, 2006). The current work tested the hypothesis that people could improve their efficacy through vicarious experience - by learning that others had improved their efficacy over time. We also predicted that our vicarious selfefficacy learning condition would decrease participants’ external motivation to respond without prejudice by reducing their concerns about the expression of prejudice and the public disapproval that such prejudice would elicit. Stimulus Materials Efficacy Concerns in Interracial Interactions Example Quotes from Upperclassmen Experimental Condition: “Over the last few years meeting and getting to know people from other cultures has really been a lot easier. Every time I hang out with new people I feel more confident in having interactions with people who are different than me. ” (Junior) Control Condition: "Overtime, as I got older and came here to FSU, I noticed that people generally become better at figuring out which study strategies work best for them. I am much better at preparing for exams and quizzes than I used to be, and now I feel like I can get good grades on most things. " (Senior) Example Data from Upperclassmen 4 Efficacy Concerns Previous research indicates that low levels of self-efficacy regarding interracial interactions are associated with negative interracial interaction outcomes (Doerr, et al 2011). Results 3. 5 3 2. 5 2 1. 5 1 Experimental Condition Control Condition (M=2. 97, SD=. 90) (M=3. 42, SD=. 94) • An ANCOVA analysis with past interracial interaction experiences as a covariate, revealed that participants in the experimental condition had significantly fewer efficacy concerns compared to participants in the control condition, F(1, 57) = 5. 91, p =. 02. External Motivation to Respond Without Prejudice Methods **Identical graphs were used in the control condition with confidence level in study skills as the dependent variable. Participants were 60 (39 Females, 19 Males, 2 Unknown) Caucasian undergraduates with a mean age of 18. 42 (SD=. 97). Procedure Participants came into the lab for study on college student experiences. After providing informed consent, participants were randomly assigned to read quotes from upperclassmen either demonstrating that they improved their interracial interaction skills overtime (experimental condition) OR demonstrating that they improved their study skills overtime (control condition). Participants then completed measures of their internal and external motivations to respond without prejudice, efficacy in interracial interactions, past interracial contact, and explicit prejudice. Measures Internal Motivation to Respond Without Prejudice (5 items; α=. 95) • “I attempt to act in nonprejudiced ways toward Black people because it is personally important to me. ” External Motivation to Respond Without Prejudice (5 items; α=. 89) • “Because of today's PC (politically correct) standards I try to appear nonprejudiced toward Black people. ” Efficacy Concerns in Interracial Interactions (6 items; α=. 67) • “I am unsure how to behave toward a White person in order to convey a nonprejudiced impression. ” External Motivation 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 Experimental Condition (M=4. 58, SD=2. 04) Control Condition • An identical analysis also revealed that participants in the experimental condition were significantly lower in EMS compared to participants in the control condition, F(1, 57) = 5. 04, p =. 03. Internal Motivation to Respond Without Prejudice Past Interracial Contact Experiences (11 items; α=. 74) • “I have had many positive experiences with Black people. ” Explicit Prejudice • “Black and White people are inherently equal. ” (reverse coded) Discussion Reading about upperclassmen improving their efficacy in interracial interactions resulted in less external motivation to respond without prejudice and fewer interracial interaction efficacy concerns compared to the control condition (even when controlling for past interracial interaction experiences). However, participants did not significantly differ in either internal motivation to respond without prejudice or our measure of explicit prejudice. Conclusions Research has indicated that efficacy concerns and external motivation to respond without prejudice are both associated with negative interracial interaction outcomes. The present work identified one approach that may be effective in reducing both of these factors. Learning that others have improved their skills in interracial interactions over time may be particularly effective because it engenders an anticipation of being skilled in the future and alleviates concerns about being viewed negatively simultaneously. (M=5. 89, SD=2. 12) • Participants in the experimental condition (M=6. 92, SD=2. 21) did NOT significantly differ (F(1, 57) =. 03, p = . 86) from participants in the control condition (M=6. 99, SD=2. 23). Explicit Prejudice (Shortened ATB) (10 items; α=. 87) [email protected] fsu. edu • Participants in the experimental condition (M=3. 22, SD=1. 22) did NOT significantly differ (F(1, 57) = -. 42, p = . 30) from participants in the control condition (M=3. 40, SD=1. 11). References Doerr, C. , Plant, E. A. , Kunstman, J. W. , & Buck, D. (2011). Interactions in Black and White: Racial differences and similarities in response to interracial interactions. Group Processes & Intergroup Relations, 14(1), 31 -43. Plant, E. A. , & Butz, D. A. (2006). The causes and consequences of an avoidance-focus for interracial interactions. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 32(6), 833 -846.