Can That Donkey at the Poker Table Increase Prejudice? Investigating the Effects of Negative vs. Positive Vicarious Contact on Outgroup Attitudes
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Science
Online poker has grown into a multibillion dollar industry, but unlike in live poker, other players do not display physical cues; in fact the only information readily available is other players’ nationality. This provides a unique opportunity to examine how intergroup attitudes can be influenced by social interactions during a game. To do so, I examined how vicariously watching negative, positive, or neutral contact between an ingroup and outgroup member at an online poker table affects ingroup and outgroup attitudes, trust, and perceived group variability. One hundred New Zealand based participants watched a video of actual online poker hands being played between a New Zealand (ingroup) and Russian (outgroup) player. Participants either saw positive, negative, or neutral contact occur between the players. Although there were no overall differences in outgroup attitudes, trust, or perceived group variability towards Russians, there was evidence of intergroup attitudes and trust when considering attitudes and trust toward Russians relative to New Zealanders. These findings suggest that merely watching positive or negative online poker interactions can affect intergroup attitudes and trust.