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Durham University

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Publication details for Professor Richard Crisp

Vasiljevic, M. & Crisp, R. J. (2013). Tolerance by Surprise: Evidence for a Generalized Reduction in Prejudice and Increased Egalitarianism through Novel Category Combination. PLoS ONE 8(3): e57106.

Author(s) from Durham


Prejudices towards different groups are interrelated, but research has yet to find a way to promote tolerance towards multiple outgroups. We devise, develop and implement a new cognitive intervention for achieving generalized tolerance based on scientific studies of social categorization. In five laboratory experiments and one field study the intervention led to a reduction of prejudice towards multiple outgroups (elderly, disabled, asylum seekers, HIV patients, gay men), and fostered generalized tolerance and egalitarian beliefs. Importantly, these effects persisted outside the laboratory in a context marked by a history of violent ethnic conflict, increasing trust and reconciliatory tendencies towards multiple ethnic groups in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. We discuss the implications of these findings for intervention strategies focused on reducing conflict and promoting peaceful intergroup relations.