Michael relatively long term interracial relationships by

Michael Flynn  HR Decision-Making Instructor:  Ralph A. Rodriguez, Ph.D Reading Review 1-31-18Interracial Roommate Relationships Introduction :  The importance of prejudice and how to lessen its effect on society has been a concern for many researchers. In “Interracial Roommates Relationships” by Natalie J, Shook and Russell H. Fazio,  they investigated how automatically activated racial attitudes are affected by relatively long term interracial relationships by testing the contact hypothesis in which direct contact of different races in a long term living arrangement would lessen or eliminate the effects of prejudice. It appears having individuals participate with a member of a different group may strengthen motivations to control prejudiced behaviors.  Intergroup cooperation between groups encourages overcoming competition between groups and encourages members of the groups to rely on one another to achieve their shared goals.  Personal, intimate interactions between individual group members allows for self disclosure and social comparison and is thought to contribute to reductions in intergroup prejudice.   Historical background: Present day experiences, as well as past studies, such as Allports 1954 study & Cooks 1978 study, where they used equal status as their base line for overcoming prejudice and the aforementioned Natalie J, Shook and Russell H. Fazio’s 2006  research, which depicted the use of  college dorm rooms as a somewhat equal status test ground for overcoming prejudice, indicate many factors influence prejudice with the leading effect being the lack of knowledge and exposure.    Methodology: The methodology was a random assignment placing White freshmen with either White freshmen or African-American freshmen in a random placement of a shared dorm room, with survey assessments during the first two weeks and last two weeks of the semester.  The data showed that although most students where unsatisfied with their roommate, they did have a positive outcome of being in the interracial room. The anxiety level with students in the interracial rooms were lower at the end of the 2nd quarter most likely due to being  unfamiliar with their new roommate.  Over time they came to some understanding of the other person, which could explain the lower score at the end of the 2nd quarter. Time spent with their roommate went from 1.54 up to 1.64.  Becoming familiar with someone changes your perception about them and spending time with them changes the environment to a more compatible one.  Another interesting factor was with the same-race satisfaction & joint activities, both were higher in the first session 6.05 with satisfaction of their roommate, but it dropped in the 2nd session to 5.70. Also the joint activities in same-race roommates decreased from 3.38 in the first session to 2.98 in the second session.  These results lead  me to believe the decrease was in part from liking their roommate due to the same race; however, as time went on they did not like their personality. Conclusion : Providing intergroup contact, such as a dormitory situation involving an intimate setting with frequent and personal interactions, allows the opportunity for forming friendships thereby increasing the effectiveness of intergroup contact in reducing prejudice.  There was a more positive effect toward different ethnic groups and more diverse friendships formed when students were place in an interracial room early in their academic career.  Although interracial dormitory relationships proved to be beneficial, supporting the contact hypothesis by only using self report measures, the extent to which motivational factors contributed to the positive outcomes observed on the explicit measures, remains unknown.  Ultimately, living with a roommate of different ethnicity seems to reduce and/ or control an individual’s prejudiced reactions without affecting their automatically activated attitudes. That being said, there is still a difference between being motivated to respond without prejudice, via evoking the motivation, versus the opportunity to monitor and control behavior.   Although intergroup contact has a long-term value, more studies need to be conducted to determine the experiences of majority groups versus minority groups during an intergroup interaction and whether automatically activated attitudes continue to improve over a longer period of time in assessing interracial roommate relationships. One area of concern is the lack of factoring in the personalities of the individuals in this study. I would suggest to come up with another section of random selections that alines similar personality types within the dorm setting as well as dissimilar personality types to see the effects on prejudice.  Knowledge and exposure are key factors in many prejudice situations.  The more we learn about different races, the less prejudice will be an issue.  Knowledge and exposure will create a better understanding of different ethnic backgrounds which will help in reducing the negative affect of prejudice in our society.