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Research Profile

Dr Katy Greenland 

    • Prejudice and Intergroup Anxiety Intergroup anxiety can be defined as the anxiety that someone experiences when meeting (or anticipating meeting), someone from a different social group. People can feel anxious for a variety of reasons: they may have negative expectations about the social group, or limited experience with the group. Ironically, people may feel anxious because they want to avoid making an embarrassing mistake or appearing to be prejudiced. Research suggests that intergroup anxiety is frequently experienced during intergroup contact, and can have a serious and negative effect on intergroup attitudes (e.g., Greenland and Brown, 1999). In this project we looked at participants’ anxiety about meeting someone who (we had told them) had a history of schizophrenia. We found that this manipulation generated very high levels of anxiety that could be measured both through self report (in a questionnaire), in psychophysiological responses (measure of cardiac performance, skin conductance, and movements of the face), and in participants’ actual behaviour.