The week after: Do the effects of imagined contact last over time?

Maria Ioannou*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)
105 Downloads (Pure)


The vast majority of studies assessing the prejudice reduction properties of imagined contact have focused so far on the immediate effects of the intervention. In an attempt to contribute to the literature examining the long-term effects of imagined contact, the two studies reported in this paper tested the immediate and long-term effects of imagined contact on outgroup attitudes, intergroup anxiety, and behavioral intentions in Experiment 1, and also on contact self-efficacy in Experiment 2. Both studies were conducted in a context of entrenched intergroup conflict, Cyprus. The results supported the effectiveness of imagined contact in eliciting more positive attitudes, lower levels of anxiety, more positive behavioral intentions, and higher contact self-efficacy when these were measured immediately after contact. However, evidence for the endurance of these effects was systematically found only for outgroup attitudes and intergroup anxiety. While these results speak to the ability of imagined contact to lead to long-term changes in important and commonly studied intergroup outcomes, lack of consistent evidence regarding its ability to yield lasting changes on variables pertaining to intended behavior toward the outgroup compose a challenge for the intervention.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)459-470
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of applied social psychology
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul-2019



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