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Multicultural experiences reduce prejudice through personality shifts in Openness to Experience

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European Journal of Social Psychology

Published online on


Across two studies we test the prediction that multicultural experiences reduce intercultural prejudice by increasing Openness to Experience. In Study 1, frequency of self‐reported multicultural experiences was associated with greater openness and less ethnic prejudice, and openness explained the relationship between multicultural experiences and ethnic prejudice. In Study 2, we experimentally manipulated a multicultural experience. Compared to those in a control condition, participants exposed to the cultural members and elements of foreign cultures reported being higher in Openness to Experience and expressed less prejudice toward these cultural groups. There was also some evidence that multicultural exposure, through openness, caused secondary transfer effects in prejudice reduction. Our findings suggest that exposure to multicultural environments can improve intercultural attitudes by personality shifts in Openness to Experience.