Scientific Communication and Stereotype Change

Dora Capozza, Chiara Volpato, Rossella Falvo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The aim of this experiment is to examine whether communicating the results of social psychological research improves out-group stereotypes and diminishes in-group bias. The experimental material consisted of 2 communications: one described Hamilton and Gifford's (1976) experiment on illusory correlation (Experiment 1); the other described Sherif's (1966) studies on summer camps. The results of the present experiment show that knowledge of Sherif's findings had no effect on evaluations, whereas an awareness of the experiment on illusory correlation produced a boomerang effect, accentuating, rather than diminishing, in-group bias. A second experiment revealed that the persuasive power of a scientific message on stereotypes depends on whether in-groups and out-groups are cognitively present in the message acquisition phase.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1501-1529
Number of pages29
JournalJournal of Applied Social Psychology
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)
  • Social Psychology


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