Having an Outgroup College Roommate Affects Future Interracial Interactions.
Abstract: This study followed same-race (White/White) and interracial
(White/non-White) roommate pairings living in campus dormitories. Data for this study were
collected from 140 first-year White college students who were tracked across three phases
during a one-year time span, the third phase being an in-lab video-taped interracial
interaction with a Black confederate. Specifically, this stu... read moredy evaluated the cognitive and
behavioral effects of regular interactions with either a same-race or other-race roommate
on race-related attitudes and behavioral tendencies. Results suggest that there are a
number of positive effects stemming from interactions with an other-race roommate such as
coming to have a more diverse set of friends, thinking that diversity is more important,
and learning more about oneself. Positive effects were also seen through participants'
self-reported and nonverbal behavior during the lab interaction: White participants with
other-race roommates were rated as being less anxious, more pleasant, less controversial,
and more physically engaged during an interaction with a Black stranger. Thus, the results
show that despite past research highlighting negative outcomes of having interracial
roommates, these relationships can help lessen interracial anxiety and increase positivity
toward racial outgroups in future interracial settings. Future directions, including
investigation of non-White individuals, are discussed.
Thesis (M.S.)--Tufts University, 2011.
Submitted to the Dept. of Psychology.
Advisor: Samuel Sommers.
Committee: Nalini Ambady, and Ellen Pinderhughes.
Keyword: Social psychology.read less