Sociology Discussion: Contact Hypothesis Essay

Sociology Discussion: Contact Hypothesis Essay

Sociology Discussion: Contact Hypothesis

            The contact hypothesis can be described as a psychological theory that suggests that having contact with another group can help reduce prejudices between the two social groups (Paluck et al., 2019). The contact hypothesis applies to most people frequently in different situations ranging from racial cues to gender differences among other differentiating factors (Zhou et l., 2019). The purpose of this discussion is to analyze an example of a life encounter when the contact hypothesis was applied to me.


In high school, we moved to a new town next to Canes place. We were both the same age but went to different schools. Canes school and ours used to compete in several games and activities. Students from Canes school, and those from mine used to hate each other. I ended up avoiding Cane even back at home just because he belonged to that school. However, in our senior year, our parents suggested that we form a study group to boost our grades. We ended up spending so much time with Cane when I realized that he was actually a nice person. I had a wrong judgment about him initially because of the school he went to.

Psychologists have tried for several years to figure out ways to overcome prejudice (Bužarovska, 2020). This led to the development of the contact hypothesis which claims that bringing people from two different groups together can help reduce prejudice (Abrams et al., 2018). In the example, I demonstrated prejudice against Cane’s school when I decided not to like him just because he belongs to that school (Kende et al., 2018). However, when we got an opportunity to spend time together, my opinion changed and the prejudice disappeared.


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Abrams, J. R., McGaughey, K. J., & Haghighat, H. (2018). Attitudes toward Muslims: A test of the parasocial contact hypothesis and contact theory. Journal of Intercultural Communication Research47(4), 276-292.

Bužarovska, E. (2020). The Contact Hypothesis Revised: DOM in the South Slavic Periphery. Journal of Language Contact13(1), 57-95.

Kende, J., Phalet, K., Van den Noortgate, W., Kara, A., & Fischer, R. (2018). Equality revisited: A cultural meta-analysis of intergroup contact and prejudice. Social Psychological and Personality Science9(8), 887-895.

Paluck, E. L., Green, S. A., & Green, D. P. (2019). The contact hypothesis re-evaluated. Behavioral Public Policy3(2), 129-158.

Zhou, S., Page-Gould, E., Aron, A., Moyer, A., & Hewstone, M. (2019). The extended contact hypothesis: A meta-analysis on 20 years of research. Personality and Social Psychology Review23(2), 132-160.

Give an example of a time the “Contact Hypothesis” may have applied to you. You judged someone based on ethnic/racial cues, or a “clique” from school or work, stereotyping them. However, once you got to know them as a “person” in a cooperative equal status situation, your opinion changed, and the stereotype was abandoned. How often do we do this each day??!!… Stereotype people IMMEDIATELY on a past experience that reminds us of this person?

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