Testing the limits of tolerance: How intergroup anxiety amplifies negative and offensive responses to out-group-initiated contact

Martijn Van Zomeren*, Agneta H. Fischer, Russell Spears

*Bijbehorende auteur voor dit werk

Onderzoeksoutput: ArticleAcademicpeer review

62 Citaten (Scopus)


Three studies examine the amplifying effects of intergroup anxiety on individuals' negative and offensive responses to out-group-initiated contact. Because intergroup anxiety typically results in avoidance of the initiation of intergroup contact, these studies explored how intergroup anxiety affected individuals' interpretation of and responses to out-group-initiated contact. The authors hypothesized that intergroup anxiety amplifies individuals' threat appraisal of out-group-initiated contact as well as their feelings of anger and offensive action tendencies toward the out-group. Results showed consistent support for these hypotheses by demonstrating that intergroup anxiety amplified individuals' threat appraisal (Studies 2 and 3), anger (Studies 1-3), and offensive action tendencies toward the out-group (Study 2). Anger consistently predicted offensive action tendencies (Studies 2-3). Thus, intergroup anxiety decreased individuals' limits of tolerance by increasing their threat appraisal of out-group-initiated contact. The results are discussed in relation to theories of threat, emotion, and tolerance.

Originele taal-2English
Pagina's (van-tot)1686-1699
Aantal pagina's14
TijdschriftPersonality and social psychology bulletin
Nummer van het tijdschrift12
StatusPublished - dec.-2007
Extern gepubliceerdJa

Citeer dit