Wednesday, 11 May 2016

EQUITY & DIVERSITY SERIES: research presentation on seeking diversity with 'the other'

The next meeting of the Social and Organisational Psychology Research Group will be held at 12.00pm on Tuesday 17th May in the Keats Reading Room, Psychology/Aviation Building (AVLG17), with video link to the Science Offices at Ourimbah.

We will be listening to Matylda Mackiewicz’s PhD Research Presentation titled “Seeking Intergroup Contact: Investigation into Personal and Contextual Determinants of Approaching ‘the Other’” Matylda’s supervisors are Stefania Paolini and Emina Subasic and her research is supported by an ARC Discovery project awarded to her supervisor and research collaborators at Griffith, University of Arizona and Oxford (Paolini, Harwood, Neumann, & Hewstone, 2015-2018).

 ABSTRACT: It is well established that contact between opposing groups leads to less prejudice. However widespread informal segregation means that contact between dominant groups and minority groups, rather than being frequent and spontaneous, requires deliberate pro-outgroup contact choices on the part of individuals. Drawing on research from clinical psychology, we seek to apportion individuals based on their spontaneous choice to approach/avoid outgroup members in the presence/absence of contact-related anxiety, into four behavioural types: brave, fearless, fearful or indifferent. Using this typology as a framework, the proposed research aims to identify the key personal and contextual determinants which drive some individuals to seek out contact with outgroup members and others to avoid it.

BIOGRAPHY: Matylda Mackiewicz is undertaking her PhD in social psychology under the supervision of Dr Stefania Paolini and Dr Emina Subašić. Matylda’s investigative interests lie in the realm of intergroup contact. Her research examines the personal and situational determinants of people’s approach and avoidance behaviours towards outgroup members. Specifically, she hopes to develop a more systematic understanding of the factors that contribute to that rare species of event, by which a person spontaneously seeks out intergroup contact over contact with other members of their own group. In so doing, she hopes to get us all a little friendlier with each other.