Reducing ethnic prejudice through public communication programs: a social-psychological perspective

Aldert Vrij, E. van Schie, Julie Cherryman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Television programs aimed at countering ethnic prejudice generally do not have the desired effect, possibly because relevant theoretical insights have been ignored when such videos are designed. Theoretically, three factors appear relevant: (a) stressing similarities between ethnic minorities and the majority population, (b) exposure to many ethnic minorities, and (c) providing explicit information about the aims of the communication. In the present experiment, the effects of specially constructed videos based on these theoretical perspectives were examined. White Dutch participants (N = 261) were assigned to one of eight experimental conditions or to the control condition. Those in the experimental conditions were exposed to a TV spot about ethnic minorities before completing a questionnaire about attitudes toward ethnic minorities. Participants in the control condition completed this questionnaire without watching a TV spot. The eight experimental conditions were formed by the systematic crossing of the three above-mentioned perspectives. Results showed that only the TV spot that included all three perspectives produced more positive judgments of ethnic minorities by the White Dutch participants.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)413-420
Number of pages8
JournalThe Journal of Psychology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1996


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