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In Press

📄 Reimer et al. (in press). Shared Education as a contact-based intervention to improve intergroup relations among adolescents in post-conflict Northern Ireland. Developmental Psychology.
Abstract Past research has shown that intergroup contact can be a promising intervention to improve intergroup relations and that contact-based interventions might be most effective during adolescence. In post-conflict Northern Ireland, widespread residential segregation and a largely separate school system limit opportunities for intergroup contact between adolescents from the Catholic and Protestant communities. We evaluated whether a large-scale intervention to facilitate intergroup contact between students attending separate schools (the ‘Shared Education’ program) improves a range of outcomes relevant for intergroup relations in Northern Ireland. We conducted a five-wave longitudinal, quasi-experimental study that followed a large sample of school students (N = 5,159, Mage = 12.4, age range: 10–14 years; 2,988 girls, 2,044 boys) from 56 predominantly Catholic or Protestant schools from sixth to tenth grade. We compared the developmental trajectories of students who, in ninth (14–15 years) and tenth (15–16 years) grade, shared some classes with students from the other community, as part of the program, to students who did not. We found that participating in shared classes had a medium-size, positive effect on the amount of intergroup contact students had outside of class, and small, positive effects on students’ outgroup attitudes, outgroup trust, and intergroup empathy (but not on their intergroup anxiety, future contact intentions, deprovincialization, or multicultural beliefs). Our findings show that a school-based program of shared education can provide a viable and effective intervention to facilitate intergroup contact, improve intergroup relations, and foster social integration among adolescents at a large scale in a post-conflict society.
Reference Reimer, N. K., Hughes, J., Blaylock, D., Donnelly, C., Wöolfer, R., & Hewstone, M. (in press). Shared Education as a contact-based intervention to improve intergroup relations among adolescents in postconflict Northern Ireland. Developmental Psychology. https://doi.org/10.31234/osf.io/5mkwh
📕 Reimer et al. (in press). Self-categorization and social identification: Making sense of us and them. Theories in Social Psychology.
Reference Reimer, N. K., Schmid, K., Hewstone, M., & Al Ramiah, A. (in press). Self-categorization and social identification: Making sense of us and them. In D. Chadee (Ed.), Theories in social psychology (2nd ed.). Wiley-Blackwell. https://doi.org/10.31234/osf.io/gub8a

2021

📄 †Bracegirdle, Reimer, et al. (2021). Disentangling contact and socialization effects on outgroup attitudes in diverse friendship networks. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.
Abstract Friendships with members of our own group (ingroup) and other groups (outgroups) shape our attitudes toward outgroups. Research on intergroup contact has shown that the numbers of outgroup and ingroup friends we have influence our outgroup attitudes, whereas research on socialization has shown that the attitudes held by our friends influence our outgroup attitudes. Past research, however, examined these processes in isolation, which precludes discerning whether having friends, or the attitudes held by our friends, are both important in shaping our outgroup attitudes, and, if so, which is more important. To disentangle these effects, we conducted a 5-wave social network study in 2 ethnically diverse schools (N = 1,170 students). By applying a novel longitudinal coevolution model, we were able to separate the effects of having ingroup and outgroup friends (contact effects), and the effects of those friends’ attitudes (socialization effects), on individuals’ outgroup attitudes, while controlling for friendship selection processes. In so doing, we found that it is principally the attitudes of ingroup friends—not outgroup friends’ attitudes or having ingroup and outgroup friends alone—that predict individuals’ outgroup attitudes. Our findings have important theoretical implications, as we demonstrate that combining the divergent approaches of intergroup contact and socialization enables us to better understand outgroup attitude development. Our findings also have practical implications, as we show that, even in diverse environments, individuals rely primarily on friends from their own group to inform their attitudes toward other groups
Reference Bracegirdle, C., Reimer, N. K., Wölfer, R., van Zalk, M., & Hewstone, M. (2021). Disentangling contact and socialization effects on outgroup attitudes in diverse friendship networks. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1037/pspa0000240
📄 Reimer et al. (2021). Building social cohesion through intergroup contact: Evaluation of a large-scale intervention to improve intergroup relations among adolescents. Journal of Youth and Adolescence.
Abstract Past research has found intergroup contact to be a promising intervention to reduce prejudice and has identified adolescence as the developmental period during which intergroup contact is most effective. Few studies, however, have tested whether contact-based interventions can be scaled up to improve intergroup relations at a large scale. The present research evaluated whether and when the National Citizen Service, a large-scale contact-based intervention reaching one in six 15- to 17-year-olds in England and Northern Ireland, builds social cohesion among adolescents from different ethnic backgrounds. In a diverse sample of adolescents (N = 2099; Mage = 16.37, age range: 15–17 years; 58% female), this study used a pretest–posttest design with a double pretest to assess the intervention’s effectiveness. Controlling for test–retest effects, this study found evidence that the intervention decreased intergroup anxiety and increased outgroup perspective-taking—but not that it affected intergroup attitudes, intergroup trust, or perceptions of relative (dis-)advantage. These (small) effects were greater for adolescents who had experienced less positive contact before participating and who talked more about group differences while participating. These findings suggest that the intervention might not immediately improve intergroup relations—but that it has the potential to prepare adolescents, especially those with less positive contact experiences before the intervention, for more positive intergroup interactions in the future.
Reference Reimer, N. K., Love, A., Wölfer, R., & Hewstone, M. (2021). Building social cohesion through intergroup contact: Evaluation of a large-scale intervention to improve intergroup relations among adolescents. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 50(6), 1049–1067. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10964-021-01400-8
📄 Reimer & Sengupta. (invited resubmission). Meta-analysis of the ‘ironic’ effects of intergroup contact.
Abstract Growing evidence suggests that intergroup contact, psychology’s most-researched paradigm for reducing prejudice, has the ‘ironic’ effect of reducing support for social change in disadvantaged groups. We conducted a preregistered meta-analytic test of this effect across 98 studies with 140 samples of 213,085 disadvantaged-group members. As predicted, intergroup contact was, on average, associated with less perceived injustice (r = −.07), collective action (r = −.06), and support for reparative policies (r = −.07). However, these associations were small, variable, and consistent with alternative explanations. Across outcomes, 25–36% of studies found positive associations with intergroup contact. Moderator analyses explained about a third of the between-sample variance, showing that, on average, associations were negative only in studies of adults that measured intergroup contact directly and were strongest in studies that examined short-term migration or (post-)colonial intergroup relations. We also found evidence for an alternative explanation for the apparent ‘ironic’ effects of intergroup contact as, after controlling for the positive association of negative contact with support for social change, positive contact was no longer associated with any of the outcomes. We close by discussing strengths and limitations of the available evidence and by highlighting open questions about the relationship between intergroup contact and support for social change in disadvantaged groups.
Reference Reimer, N. K. & Sengupta, N. K. (2021). Meta-analysis of the ‘ironic’ effects of intergroup contact. PsyArXiv. https://doi.org/10.31234/osf.io/vrsqe
📄 *Karimi-Malekabadi, *Reimer, et al. (under review). Moral values predict county-level COVID-19 vaccination rates in the United States.
Abstract Despite the widespread availability of COVID-19 vaccines, the United States has a depressed rate of vaccination as of September 2021. Understanding the psychology of vaccine refusal, particularly the possible sources of variation in vaccine resistance across U.S. sub-populations, can aid in designing effective intervention strategies to increase vaccination across different regions. Here, we demonstrate that county-level moral values (i.e., Care, Fairness, Loyalty, Authority, and Purity) are associated with COVID-19 vaccination rates across 3,106 counties in the contiguous United States. Specifically, in line with our hypothesis, we find that fewer people are vaccinated in counties whose residents prioritize moral concerns about bodily and spiritual purity. Further, we find that stronger endorsements of concerns about fairness and loyalty to the group predict higher vaccination rates. These associations are robust after adjusting for structural barriers to vaccination, the demographic make-up of the counties, and their residents' political voting behavior. Our findings have implications for health communication, intervention strategies based on targeted messaging, and our fundamental understanding of the moral psychology of vaccination hesitancy and behavior.
Reference Karimi-Malekabadi, F., Reimer, N. K., Atari, M., Trager, J., Kennedy, B., Graham, J., & Dehghani, M. (2021). Moral values predict county-level COVID-19 vaccination rates in the United States. PsyArXiv. https://doi.org/10.31234/osf.io/z6kxm
📄 Brendan, Reimer, & Dehghani. (in revision). Explaining explainability: Interpretable machine learning for the behavioral sciences.
Abstract Predictive data modeling is a critical practice for the behavioral sciences; however, it is under-practiced in part due to the incorrect view that machine learning (ML) models are" black boxes," unable to be used for inferential purposes. In this work, we present an argument for the adoption of techniques from interpretable Machine Learning (ML) by behavioral scientists. Our argument is structured around the dispelling of three misconceptions, or myths, about interpretability. First, while ML models' interpretability is often viewed dichotomously, being either interpretable (eg, linear regression) or" black boxes" (e.g., neural networks), the reality is far more nuanced, affected by multiple factors which should jointly affect model choice. Second, we challenge the idea that interpretability is a necessary trade-off for predictive accuracy, reviewing recent methods from the field which are able to both model complex phenomena and expose the mechanism by which phenomena are related. And third, we present post hoc explanation, a recent approach that applies additional methods to black box models, countering the belief that black box models are inherently unusable for the behavioral sciences.
Reference Kennedy, B., Reimer, N. K., & Dehghani, M. (2021). Explaining explainability: Interpretable machine learning for the behavioral sciences. PsyArXiv. https://doi.org/10.31234/osf.io/9h6qr

2020

📄 Reimer et al. (2020). Intergroup contact fosters more inclusive social identities. Group Processes & Intergroup Relations.
Abstract We examined how people construct their social identities from multiple group memberships—and whether intergroup contact can reduce prejudice by fostering more inclusive social identities. South Indian participants (N = 351) from diverse caste backgrounds viewed 24 identity cards, each representing a person with whom participants shared none, one, two, or all of three group memberships (caste, religion, nationality). Participants judged each person as “us” or “not us,” showing whom they included in their ingroup, and whom they excluded. Participants tended to exclude caste and religious minorities, replicating persistent social divides. Bridging these divides, cross-group friendship was associated with more inclusive identities which, in turn, were associated with more positive relations between an advantaged, an intermediate, and a disadvantaged caste group. Negative contact was associated with less inclusive identities. Contact and identity processes, however, did not affect entrenched opposition to (or undermine support for) affirmative action in advantaged and disadvantaged groups.
Reference Reimer, N. K., Kamble, S. V., Schmid, K., & Hewstone, M. (2020). Intergroup contact fosters more inclusive social identities. Group Processes & Intergroup Relations. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1177/1368430220960795
📄 Birtel, Reimer, et al. (2020). Change in school ethnic diversity and intergroup relations: The transition from segregated elementary to mixed secondary school for majority and minority students. European Journal of Social Psychology.
Abstract This research examined the impact of a change in school diversity on school children's intergroup relations. A longitudinal survey tracked 551 White British and Asian British students (Mage = 11.32) transitioning from elementary (time 1) to secondary (time 2) school in an ethnically segregated town in the United Kingdom. We estimated a multivariate, multilevel model. A cross-sectional comparison of segregated schools and a mixed elementary school at time 1 revealed that both Asian and White British in the mixed school reported more positive intergroup relations. A longitudinal analysis found that the transition from segregated elementary to mixed secondary schools was associated with Asian British developing more positive intergroup relations. White British reported overall less positive intergroup relations, although only trust decreased; evidence from other measures remains inconclusive. The findings are important for understanding early stages of diversity exposure, and the impact of changing diversity levels on majority and minority groups.
Reference Birtel, M. D., Reimer, N. K., Wölfer, R., & Hewstone, M. (2020). Change in school ethnic diversity and intergroup relations: The transition from segregated elementary to mixed secondary school for majority and minority students. European Journal of Social Psychology, 50(1), 160–176. https://doi.org/10.1002/ejsp.2609
📄 Sengupta, Reimer, et al. (under review). Does intergroup contact foster solidarity with the disadvantaged? A longitudinal analysis across seven years.
Abstract Contact theory is a well-established paradigm for improving intergroup relations – positive contact between groups promotes social harmony by increasing intergroup warmth. A longstanding critique of this paradigm is that contact does not necessarily promote social equality. Recent research has blunted this critique by showing that contact correlates positively with political solidarity expressed by dominant groups towards subordinate groups, thus furthering the goal of equality. However, extant research precludes causal inferences because it conflates within-person change (people with higher contact subsequently expressing higher solidarity) and between-person stability (people with chronically high contact simultaneously expressing chronically high solidarity, and vice versa). We addressed this problem in a highly powered, seven-wave study using two contact measures and three solidarity measures (N = 22,646). Results showed no within-person change over a one-year period (inconsistent with a causal effect), but significant between-person stability (consistent with third-variable explanations). This reinforces doubts about contact as strategy for promoting equality.
Reference Sengupta, N. K., Reimer, N. K., Sibley, C. G. & Barlow, F. K. (2020). Does intergroup contact foster solidarity with the disadvantaged? A longitudinal analysis across seven years [Manuscript submitted for publication]. School of Psychology, University of Kent.
📄 *Rae, *Reimer, et al. (under review). Intergroup contact and implicit racial attitudes: Contact is related to less activation of biased evaluations but is unrelated to bias inhibition.
Abstract Two preregistered studies examined whether, why, and for whom intergroup contact is associated with more egalitarian implicit racial attitudes. Performance on implicit attitude measures depends on both the activation of group-relevant evaluations (e.g., positive ingroup and negative outgroup evaluations) and the inhibition of those evaluations. We used the Quad model to estimate the contributions of spontaneous evaluation and inhibition processes in the race attitude Implicit Association Test. In large samples of White and Black Americans (total N = 10,000), we tested which cognitive processes were related to respondents' contact experiences and whether respondent race moderated these relationships. Results showed that intergroup contact was associated with less activation of both negative outgroup evaluations and positive ingroup evaluations, but not with the inhibition of those evaluations. Respondent race did not moderate these associations. Our findings help explain the cognitive processes by which contact experiences improve implicit attitudes in minority and majority groups.
Reference Rae, J. R., Reimer, N. K., Calanchini, J., Lai, C. K., Rivers, A. M., Dasgupta, N., Hewstone, M., & Schmid, K. (2020). Intergroup contact and implicit racial attitudes: Contact is related to less activation of biased evaluations but is unrelated to bias inhibition. PsyArXiv. https://doi.org/10.31234/osf.io/h4nxd

2018

📕 Reimer. (2018). Can intergroup contact foster more continuous, fluid, and inclusive social identities? [Doctoral dissertation]. University of Oxford.
Abstract This thesis examines whether intergroup contact can foster more continuous, fluid, and inclusive social identities—and, if so, how more continuous, fluid, and inclusive social identities relate to intergroup bias and support for social change. Chapter 1 introduces relevant research on social identification along a single category and across multiple categories, and develops the hypotheses tested throughout this thesis. Chapter 2 gives an overview of the empirical research, and introduces the statistical methods used to analyse findings from that research. Chapter 3 reports research developing and validating a novel measure of social identity continuity and fluidity, and examines whether contact with sexual and gender minorities fosters more continuous and fluid conceptions of sexuality and gender. Studies 1–3 found that intergroup contact was associated with more continuous and fluid social identities, but that more continuous and fluid social identities were not, in turn, associated with less intergroup bias. Chapter 4 reports research testing whether contact with caste or religious outgroups fosters more inclusive social identities in South India. Study 4 found that, as hypothesised, cross-group friendship was associated with more inclusive identities, while more inclusive identities were associated with less intergroup bias. Chapter 5 reports research testing how intergroup contact relates to support for social change in advantaged and disadvantaged groups. Studies 1 and 3 found that for disadvantaged-group members, negative contact, but not positive contact, was associated with more collective action. For advantaged-group members, positive contact predicted more solidarity-based collective action. More continuous and fluid identities did not mediate any of these relationships. Study 4 found neither intergroup contact nor more inclusive identities to be associated with support for or opposition to social change. Chapter 6 summarises and discusses the research presented in this thesis, highlighting its implications for intergroup relations research.
Reference Reimer, N. K. (2018). Can intergroup contact foster more continuous, fluid, and inclusive social identities? [Doctoral dissertation, University of Oxford]. Oxford University Research Archive. https://ora.ox.ac.uk/objects/uuid:2c5ca594-7856-4991-b3c1-6668a704d800

2017

📄 Reimer et al. (2017). Intergroup contact and social change: Implications of negative and positive contact for collective action in advantaged and disadvantaged groups. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin.
Abstract Previous research has shown that (a) positive intergroup contact with an advantaged group can discourage collective action among disadvantaged-group members and (b) positive intergroup contact can encourage advantaged-group members to take action on behalf of disadvantaged outgroups. Two studies investigated the effects of negative as well as positive intergroup contact. Study 1 (N = 482) found that negative but not positive contact with heterosexual people was associated with sexual-minority students’ engagement in collective action (via group identification and perceived discrimination). Among heterosexual students, positive and negative contacts were associated with, respectively, more and less LGB (lesbian, gay, bisexual) activism. Study 2 (N = 1,469) found that only negative contact (via perceived discrimination) predicted LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) students’ collective action intentions longitudinally while only positive contact predicted heterosexual/cisgender students’ LGBT activism. Implications for the relationship between intergroup contact, collective action, and social change are discussed.
Reference Reimer, N. K., Becker, J. C., Benz, A., Christ, O., Dhont, K., Klocke, U., Neji, S., Rychlowska, M., Schmid, K., & Hewstone, M. (2017). Intergroup contact and social change: Implications of negative and positive contact for collective action in advantaged and disadvantaged groups. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 43(1), 121–136. https://doi.org/10.1177/014616721667647

* joint first authors
† supervisee/advisee