Taking Perspective: Online Interventions to Reduce Prejudice and Increase Support for Racial Policies

Awarded Scholars:
Alauna Safarpour, Gettysburg College
Project Date:
Nov 2023
Award Amount:

Research on the effectiveness of prejudice reduction techniques has shown mixed results, and rarely explores their effects on policy attitudes. One method of reducing prejudice draws on the psychological theory of perspective-taking, which posits that encouraging individuals to adopt the perspective of out-group members can decrease prejudice towards the group. Political scientist Alauna Safarpour will examine the durability of interactive, online, perspective-taking interventions to encourage empathy, reduce anti-Black racism, and increase support for policies to redress racial inequality such as support for government assistance to Black people, changes to ensure racial equality, and affirmative action, among other outcomes. To better understand the nature of prejudice reduction and its causal link with support for policies to redress racial inequality, Safarpour will develop and test Engagement, Perspective-Taking, and Re-calibration (EPR). She hypothesizes that engagement through choice selection helps individuals adopt the perspective of out-group members, which encourages multiple forms of empathy including perspective-taking and emotional empathy. This in turn decreases prejudice and recalibrates individuals’ blame appraisals and emotional orientation towards an out-group, increasing support for race-conscious policies.


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