Imagined intergroup contact and common ingroup identity: an integrative approach

Loris Vezzali*, Sofia Stathi, Richard J. Crisp, Dino Giovannini, Dora Capozza, Samuel L. Gaertner

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We conducted two studies involving two different age groups (elementary school children and adults) aimed at integrating imagined contact and common ingroup identity models. In the first study, Italian elementary school children were asked to imagine interacting with an unknown immigrant peer as members of a common group. Results revealed that common ingroup imagined contact, relative to a control condition, improved outgroup helping intentions assessed 1 week and 2 weeks after the intervention. In the second study, common ingroup imagined contact led Italian university students to display higher intentions to have contact with immigrants compared to control conditions. In conclusion, results from both studies demonstrate that imagining an intergroup interaction as members of the same group strengthens the effects of imagined contact. These findings point to the importance of combining the common ingroup identity model and the imagined contact theory in order to increase the potentiality of prejudice reduction interventions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)265-276
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Social Psychology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2015

Bibliographical note

Social Psychology, 46 © (2015) by Hogrefe Publishing. This article may not exactly replicate the final version published in Social Psychology. It is not the version of record and is therefore not suitable for citation.


  • behavioral intentions
  • common ingroup identity
  • imagined intergroup contact
  • intergroup relations
  • prejudice reduction


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