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Title: Writing About Life: Improving intergroup relations through expressive writing
Authors: Perasso, Lucia
Advisors: Sinclair, Stacey
Department: Psychology
Class Year: 2016
Abstract: This paper explores the effects of writing about a negative race-related event on the subsequent experience of intergroup interactions. Sixty-three White undergraduate students at Princeton University wrote about a negative experience related to race or ethnicity (experimental) or a negative social experience (control) for 15 minutes. Implicit bias was also measured through an Implicit Association Test. The quantity and quality of participants’ interracial interactions, their openness to engaging with issues of race and ethnicity on their campus, and Intergroup Anxiety scores (Stephan & Stephan, 1985) were measured one week later. We predicted that those in the experimental condition would report having higher-quality interracial interactions, demonstrate more willingness to engage in race-related issues on campus, and display lower intergroup anxiety. Partially consistent with predictions, the experimental group reported having more interracial interactions in the week following the intervention than controls, and rated them as significantly more positive than controls. No effect of the intervention was found on intergroup anxiety or willingness to participate in events related to race or ethnicity. However, implicit racial bias scores were positively associated with reported willingness to participate in these on-campus events. Implications and directions for future research are discussed.
Extent: 61 pages
Type of Material: Princeton University Senior Theses
Language: en_US
Appears in Collections:Psychology, 1930-2020

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