Intergroup anxiety: A person X situation approach

Thomas W. Britt, Kurt A. Boniecki, Theresa K. Vescio, Monica Biernat, Lisa M. Brown

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

112 Scopus citations


A person X situation approach to the study of intergroup anxiety is offered in which anxiety in intergroup encounters is viewed as a transaction between the individual and the environment. An individual difference measure of intergroup anxiety toward African Americans is developed, and studies assessing the scale's reliability and validity are presented. The utility of a person X situation approach is shown in an experiment in which participants high or low in intergroup anxiety were told they would interact with either a European American or an African American. Participants high in intergroup anxiety who were supposed to interact with an African American evidenced the highest state anxiety, perceived the interaction as most difficult, and viewed their partners as most dissimilar from themselves. Issues surrounding sources of intergroup anxiety and the relationship between intergroup anxiety and prejudice are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1177-1188
Number of pages12
JournalPersonality and Social Psychology Bulletin
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1996

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology


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