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Reliance on Direct and Mediated Contact and Public Policies Supporting Outgroup Harm

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Journal of Communication

Published online on


Two studies examined the effects of reliance on direct and media‐based contact for information about Muslims on Americans' stereotypic beliefs of and negative emotions toward Muslims and support for public policies harming Muslims domestically and internationally. Results revealed that reliance on media for information about Muslims was positively associated with stereotypic beliefs, negative emotions, and support for harmful policies. Reliance on direct contact for information about Muslims produced the opposite results. Results from a three‐wave longitudinal design revealed that reliance on media and direct contact significantly predict changes in negative emotions which then predict changes in support for civil restrictions for Muslim Americans. We discuss the differential effects of reliance on media‐based and direct contact in influencing intergroup outcomes.