Seminars & Events

7 November 2022
15:15 - 16:45
Online - see link below

Seminar: Sabahat Cigdem Bagci – The role of positive and negative mass-mediated contact on attitudes towards refugees in the context of mass immigration

Title: The role of positive and negative mass-mediated contact on attitudes towards refugees in the context of mass immigration


Abstract: Despite increased contact opportunities worldwide, negative attitudes towards vulnerable minorities such as refugees persist in many societies. Research shows that various forms of intergroup contact may partly buffer some of those persisting or increasing hostilities towards refugees. Particularly when direct contact opportunities are restricted, indirect types of contact may also predict attitudes towards refugees, sometimes encouraging outgroup hostility through negative mass-mediated contact. With two studies, we investigated how mass-mediated contact shapes Turkish citizens’ attitudes towards Afghan refugees in a mass immigration context. Our first correlational study demonstrates that only direct contact (particularly positive) predicts realistic and symbolic threat towards Afghans, while positive mass-mediated contact (but not negative mass-mediated contact) predicts increased positive attitudes and support for rights, but decreased outgroup dehumanization. Study 2 included an experimental condition whereby the valence of mediated contact was manipulated. Findings indicate that after controlling for direct contact experiences, mass-mediated contact had significant impacts on outgroup attitudes, dehumanization and perception of realistic (but not symbolic) threat. Particularly positive mass-mediated contact seemed to be effective in increasing individuals’ positive perceptions of refugees. Both studies point to the particular role of positive mass-mediated contact for decreasing hostile attitudes towards refugees.


Bio: Sabahat Cigdem Bagci is an Associate Professor at Sabanci University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. She completed her PhD in Psychology at Goldsmiths, University of London in 2014. Her research activities include a broad range of topics that pertain to intergroup relationships and group processes such as social identities, prejudice, intergroup contact, and immigration. While her theoretical work focuses on understanding majority and minority group status members’ perspectives in intergroup processes, her applied work aims at decreasing prejudice and discrimination among stigmatized groups through various social-psychological interventions. She is involved in different national and international projects that investigate various intergroup contexts. Her recent research investigates the role of collective narcissism on intergroup behavior, the perception of threat from and dehumanization of Syrian and Afghan refugees in Turkey, as well as testing intergroup contact strategy in human-robot interactions.



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