A future focus for imagined contact: Advances in and beyond intergroup relations

Rose Meleady, Richard J. Crisp

Research output: Chapter in Book/Published conference outputChapter


Imagined intergroup contact is a new application of intergroup contact theory that can be implemented as a stimulus, or substitute, for actual intergroup contact. In this chapter we review the current state of imagined contact research, and offer an agenda for continued investigation. We begin by demonstrating how imagined contact has been shown to impact a range of outcomes related to the promotion of positive intergroup relations. We then consider what questions the field needs now to answer, if we are to translate research from the laboratory to implementation and intervention. Finally, we identify several new areas of investigation that have emerged from a renewed interest in mental imagery, stimulated by imagined contact research. These applications to behavioral domains, ranging from economics to innovation, suggest that despite its simplicity, imagined contact techniques can have powerful positive effects both within and beyond intergroup relations.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIntergroup Contact Theory
Subtitle of host publication Recent Developments and Future Directions
PublisherTaylor & Francis
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)9781317295242
ISBN (Print)9781138182301
Publication statusPublished - 13 Dec 2016


  • Imagined contact
  • Indirect contact
  • Intergroup relations
  • Mental imagery
  • Prejudice reduction


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