The role of meta-stereotypes in intergroup negotiations

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Main, Kelley J.
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The main goal of this research was to examine how meta-stereotypes influence negotiations between members of different ethnic groups. Meta-stereotypes are a person's beliefs regarding the stereotype that outgroup members have about his or her own group (Vorauer, Main, & O'Connell, in press). Vorauer et al.'s research indicated that high prejudice White individuals expected to be stereotyped by an Aboriginal person, whereas low prejudice White individuals expected to be seen as ontradicting the stereotype of their group by an Aboriginal person. Research by Vorauer and Kumhyr (1997) revealed that such meta-stereotype driven perceptions are inaccurate. I examined the implications of this research for intergroup negotiations. Pairs of participants (White-White or White-Aboriginal) were assigned to the role of buyer or seller in a negotiation concerning the sale of a car (see Thompson & Hastie, 1990). Results demonstrated that both high and low prejudice White individuals negotiating with an Aboriginal partner expected that they would be viewed more positively than those negotiating with a White partner. Moreover, these especially positive metaperceptions were not corroborated by their Aboriginal partner's actual impress ons. Interestingly, although both high and low prejudice White individuals believed that they conveyed particularly tolerant impressions to an Aboriginal negotiation partner, low prejudice participants obtained significantly more points from Aboriginal as compared to White partners. Implications for future research are discussed.