Self‐protection and growth as the motivational force behind majority group members' cultural adaptation and discrimination: A parallel mediation model via intergroup contact and threat

Tara C. Marshall, Nelli Ferenczi, Katharina Lefringhausen
Published Online:
11 Sep 2019

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What motivates majority group members to adapt to or reject cultural diversity? Considering the relevance of personal values on our attitudes and behaviours, we inspected how self‐protection and growth predict levels of discriminatory behavioural and cultural adaptation intentions towards migrants via intergroup contact and perceived intergroup threats, simultaneously (i.e., parallel mediation). Specifically, positive contact between groups is known for reducing prejudice through diminishing perceived intergroup threats. Yet current research emphasises the role of individual differences in this interplay while proposing a parallel relationship between perceived intergroup threats and contact. Also by inspecting cultural adaptation and discriminatory behavioural intentions, the present study examined more proximal indicators of real‐world intergroup behaviours than explored in past research. Using data from 304 US Americans, structural equation modelling indicated a good fit for a parallel mediation model with growth relating positively to cultural adaptation intentions and negatively to discriminatory behavioural intentions through being positively associated with intergroup contact and negatively with perceived intergroup threats, simultaneously. The reverse was found for self‐protection. These findings stress that personal values constitute a relevant individual difference in the contact/threats‐outcome relationship, providing a motivational explanation for majority group members' experience of cultural diversity in their own country.

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