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2012 SPSSI - EASP Conference
November 30 - December 2, 2012
Stoney Brook, NY; USA


Proactive Behaviour across Group Boundaries: Seeking and Maintaining Positive Interactions with Outgroup Members 

We have come to understand a lot more about the angry segregationist than we do about the traveler who can't wait to immerse herself in a foreign way of life. Negative intergroup processes (prejudice, discrimination, intergroup conflict) have been a traditional focus of social psychological research. This is not surprising, given the widespread conception of groups as inherently competitive and "tribal" and the specific historical and political influences that shaped modern social psychology. However, we are left with only rather indirect and limited answers to the questions of when and why people develop curiosity about other groups, proactively engage in cross-group exploration, or show forms of prosocial behavior across group boundaries. Positive intergroup attitudes and behaviors cannot simply be extrapolated from low levels of prejudice or hostility. Our conference objective is to inspire and advance research to help fill this gap. It will enhance our understanding of positive intergroup processes by bringing together researchers who investigate them from a variety of emerging perspectives. What leads people to seek and maintain positive interactions with outgroup members? What are the contributions to positive intergroup relations from different levels of analysis? What features of the ingroup, the outgroup, and the intergroup relationship foster or hinder positive intergroup interactions? We will pay special attention to the interplay of individual-level and group-level factors. The meeting will take place in November 2012 at Stony Brook University.

Todd Pittinsky (, Birte Siem (, and Stefan Stürmer (