Implicit bias and contact: the role of interethnic friendships

J Soc Psychol. 2004 Jun;144(3):335-47. doi: 10.3200/SOCP.144.3.335-347.


In 2 studies, the authors examined the role of interethnic friendship with African Americans or Latinos in predicting implicit and explicit biases against these groups. White participants completed the Implicit Association Test (IAT; Greenwald, A. G., McGhee, D. E., & Schwartz, J. L. K., 1998), several self-report bias measures, and a friendship questionnaire. Participants with close friends who were members of the target group exhibited less implicit prejudice than participants without close friends from the target group. Friendship influenced only 2 of the 7 explicit measures, a result that likely stems from social desirability bias rather than truly non-prejudiced attitudes. Results support the importance of contact, particularly interethnic friendship, in improving intergroup attitudes.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Black or African American
  • Female
  • Hispanic or Latino
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations*
  • Male
  • Prejudice*
  • Race Relations*
  • Reaction Time
  • Social Desirability*
  • United States
  • White People