Promoting positive intergroup attitudes using persona dolls: A vicarious contact intervention program in Israeli kindergartens

Meytal Nasie, Margalit Ziv, Gil Diesendruck

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This study evaluated the effectiveness of a vicarious contact intervention program for improving knowledge and attitudes of Jewish-Israeli secular and religious children regarding their ingroup and three outgroups: secular/religious Jews, Ethiopian-descendant Jews, and Arabs. One hundred and nine kindergartners participated in a four-week intervention, in which experimenters introduced to them four persona dolls representing the different groups. Accompanied by stories, children were exposed to the dolls’ individual and group characteristics, and to positive encounters between the dolls. A pre- and post-test battery assessed the intervention’s effects on children’s intergroup knowledge and attitudes. Findings revealed an increase in children’s knowledge of the groups, improvements in religious children’s attitudes towards Arabs, and in both secular and religious children’s willingness to sit closer to Ethiopian-descendant children. These findings highlight the potential of indirect contact for reducing intergroup bias in young children living in multicultural and conflict-ridden societies.

Original languageEnglish
JournalGroup Processes and Intergroup Relations
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2021

Keywords

  • intergroup attitudes
  • intervention
  • persona dolls
  • vicarious contact
  • young children

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