Wednesday, 29 October 2014

STAFF TALK on the consequences of positive and negative intergroup contact: Tuesday 4th November


WHO/WHAT FOR: Dr Stefania Paolini, school of psychology, UON will deliver a research presentation entitled “Valence asymmetries in intergroup relations: The challenges of improving intergroup relations against the relative advantage of negative contact”, This talk is sponsored by the school’s Social and Organisational Psychology research group.
WHEN: Tuesday 4th November, 12-1pm,
WHERE: Keats room, Aviation building, Callaghan
WHERELSE:  video conferenced to: Humanities Meeting room (HO 1.73), Ourimbah (please advise Stefania if you plan to be at the Ourimbah)
ABSTRACT: Due to a focus on prejudice reduction, social psychological analyses of intergroup contact have traditionally shied away from negative contact and negative-positive contact comparisons. These analyses provide a more positive report for contact than related disciplines; one that disagrees with global trends of intergroup conflict. This paper showcases Australian-led research on valence asymmetries aiming to redress these research disconnects. Stefania will first introduce a Self-Categorization Theory’s inspired model of valence asymmetries in intergroup relations. Based on this model, negative experiences with the outgroup should worsen intergroup attitudes more than positive experiences with the outgroup improve intergroup attitudes (i.e., negative valence asymmetry on intergroup attitudes) because negative contact causes higher category salience than positive intergroup contact (i.e., negative valence asymmetry on social categorization). Stefania will then present a systematic program of research testing the basic tenets of this model in a variety of intergroup settings and with several research paradigms. She will identify a series of moderating factors exacerbating, mitigating, and even reversing negative valence asymmetries on social categorization and intergroup attitudes and discuss the implications of these findings for theory, social interventions, and future research.
BIO: Stefania Paolini trained in social psychology at the Universita’ di Padova (Italy), under the supervision of Prof Dora Capozza, and completed her doctoral work in 2001 under the supervision of Prof Miles Hewstone at Cardiff University (UK). For her PhD, she used models and methods of intergroup contact and social categorization to explore ‘when’ and ‘why’ information about individual members of a social group affects the judgements of the group as a whole. Since, she has published in leading international journals and has been regularly invited to act as reviewer for leading journals and grant bodies on the topics of member-to-group generalization, intergroup contact, intergroup friendship, and intergroup emotions. Her current research focuses on valence asymmetries on categorization and attitudes, on motivational predictors of intergroup contact, and on the learning mechanisms of intergroup anxiety and stereotyping. As part of this work, she has investigated conflict-ridden intergroup contexts, like Northern Ireland, Cyprus, and Arizona’ southern border. Stefania is currently senior lecturer in social psychology at the University of Newcastle (Australia), co-chair of the internationalisation committee of the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues (SPSSI), and will be organising the upcoming annual meeting of the Society of Australasian Social Psychologists (SASP) at Newcastle in 2015. For more information on her work, visit: