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WorkgroupSocial Processes Lab
FundingIWM budget resources
Project description

Successful cooperation often requires mutual trust. This is all the more the case when it is about cooperation between groups. When the impression of the outgroup is mostly shaped by prejudice and not by knowledge, trust building means are required. But how can trust in an outgroup be enhanced? Within the scope of this dissertation project, we investigate the conditions under which communication increases intergroup trust.

Whether we trust an outgroup or not depends on which characteristics we attribute to the outgroup. Obtaining information that speaks in favor of the respective group’s trustworthiness influences our impression of that group, i.e., our stereotype. Especially in the digital era, we receive more information about many unfamiliar groups through the media than through direct interactions. Such information can also impact on how trustworthy we account an outgroup. However, intergroup trust enhancement does not only depend on which information is conveyed. Likewise, the way of communication as well as the characteristics of the recipients have influence.

Within this project, we examine the conditions of enhancing outgroup trust through communication and the underlying mental mechanisms. Among others, we explore the influence of the usage of certain linguistic forms on different recipients. For example, we compare the impact of negating stereotypic content and affirming counter-stereotypic content.


Winter, K., Scholl, A., & Sassenberg, K. (2021). A matter of flexibility: Changing outgroup attitudes through messages with negations. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 120(4), 956-976. [Data] request document


Dr. Kevin Winter Dr. Kevin Winter
Tel.: +49 7071 979-206