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Engaging with diversity: Framing multiculturalism as a learning opportunity reduces prejudice among high White American identifiers


European Journal of Social Psychology

Published online on


Multiculturalism (i.e., acknowledgment and appreciation of diversity), despite its positive consequences, is often met with resistance among majority group members, particularly those whose race/ethnicity is central to their self‐concept. Building upon findings that multiculturalism lowers White Americans' prejudice when presented as an abstract relative to concrete concept, we tested whether and when even concrete forms of multiculturalism can improve intergroup attitudes. Across two experiments, highly identified White Americans exhibited less racial prejudice when induced to view multiculturalism as a concrete learning opportunity than as a concrete set of policies (Study 1) or a concrete ideology more generally (Study 2). This effect was mediated by high identifiers' increased perceptions that diversity benefits themselves and society as a whole. Implications for prejudice reduction and fostering majority group members' active involvement in diversity‐relevant issues, as well as the applicability of our studies to other cultural contexts, are discussed.