Imagined intergroup contact: refinements, debates, and clarifications
In this chapter we review, discuss and advance a new implementation of intergroup contact theory. Imagined intergroup contact is “the mental simulation of a social interaction with a member or members of an outgroup category” (Crisp & Turner, 2009, p. 234). Our proposition is that simply imagining intergroup contact can produce more positive perceptions of outgroups. Recent research has supported this proposition: Imagined contact improves both explicit and implicit attitudes, it reduces stereotyping and intergroup anxiety, and it promotes and enhances intentions to engage in future contact.