In view of the current intergroup tension, we developed a one-day intensive intervention, aiming to examine the efficacy of the one-day intensive intergroup contact workshop for fostering knowledge, attitude and intended behaviour level of change between Hongkong local and Mainland students. This study also examined the increased level of contact intimacy on promoting mutual understanding between Hongkong and Mainland college students.
Methods: The workshop was carefully designed with 3 activities that target an increase level of contact intimacy to test the additive impact on the outgroup knowledge (Activity 1), attitude (Activity 2) and intended behaviour (Activity 3). A single-blinded randomized controlled trial was adopted.
Data and samples: We recruited 72 participants through institutional bulk email.
Measures: Adapted scales were used to measure outgroup knowledge, attitude and intended behaviour under Hong Kong context. Measures were taken at the baseline, post-activities, 2-week-post intervention, and 1-month-post intervention intervals.
Data analysis: Repeated measures MANOVA and ANOVA were adopted to examine the efficacy of the intervention.
Results: Repeated MANOVA reveals combined significant group x time interaction effect of outgroup knowledge, attitude and intended behaviour after Activity 1, with a large effect size observed. Repeated measure ANOVA reveals the significant improvement of outgroup knowledge in intervention group after Activity 1, with medium to large effect size observed. Both intervention and control groups were observed significant improvement in outgroup attitude, with higher effect size identified in the intervention group throughout the measure intervals. A significant improvement of intended behaviour was discovered in the intervention group only after the emotional level of contact, with a small effect size detected.
Conclusion and implications: Our findings support the short-term efficacy of the one-day intensive intergroup contact workshop. The increasing level of contact intimacy was discovered with incremental impact on improving outgroup knowledge, attitude and intended behaviour. We conclude that dissemination of accurate information is effective in improving outgroup knowledge. Besides, interpersonal level of contact can foster changes on attitude level yet has limited efficacy on behavioural level of change. To foster the behavioural level of change, a connection on emotional level is necessary. The policy implications include encouraging more intergroup collaborations on campus. Tutors and teachers should be trained to organize more activities specifically aimed at interpersonal and emotional level of connection among students.