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Durham University

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Publication details for Professor Richard Crisp

Parks, Stefania, Birtel, Michele D. & Crisp, Richard J. (2014). Evidence That a Brief Meditation Exercise Can Reduce Prejudice Toward Homeless People. Social Psychology 45(6): 458-465.

Author(s) from Durham


Recent research has shown that integrating social and clinical psychological perspectives can be effective when designing prejudice-interventions, with psychotherapeutic techniques successful at tackling anxiety in intergroup contexts. This research tests whether a single, brief loving-kindness meditation intervention, without containing any reference to the intergroup context, could reduce prejudice. This exercise was selected for its proven positive effects on mental and physical health. We observed that participants who took part in two variations of this meditation exercise (one involving a stranger, the other a homeless person) reported reduced intergroup anxiety, as well as more positive explicit attitudes, and enhanced future contact intentions. We conclude that combining approaches in intergroup relations and psychotherapy could be beneficial to design new interventions to combat prejudice and discrimination.