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Linda R. Tropp

Professor of Social Psychology, University of Massachusetts Amherst
Chapter Member: Boston SSN
Areas of Expertise:
  • Social Movements
  • Inequality & the Middle Class
  • Social Issues

About Linda

Tropp’s research focuses on expectations and outcomes of intergroup contact, identification with social groups, interpretations of intergroup relationships, and responses to prejudice and disadvantage. She received the 2012 Distinguished Academic Outreach Award from the University of Massachusetts Amherst for excellence in the application of scientific knowledge to advance the public good. Tropp has also received the Erikson Early Career Award from the International Society of Political Psychology, the McKeachie Early Career Award from the Society for the Teaching of Psychology, and the Allport Intergroup Relations Prize from the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues.

Tropp has worked with national organizations to present social science evidence in U.S. Supreme Court cases on racial integration, on state and national initiatives to improve interracial relations in schools, and with non-governmental and international organizations to evaluate applied programs designed to reduce racial and ethnic conflict. 

In the News

"Why a US Government Agency Deleted the Words 'Nation of Immigrants'," Linda R. Tropp (with Dina G. Okamoto), The Guardian, March 2, 2018.
"Donald Trump and the Rise of White Identity in Politics," Linda R. Tropp (with Eric D. Knowles), The Conversation, October 20, 2016.

Publications

"Depersonalized Extended Contact and Injunctive Norms about Cross-Group Friendship Impact Intergroup Orientations" (with Ángel Gómez, Alexandra Vázqueza, Miles Hewstone, and Alberto Voci). Journal of Experimental Social Psychology 76 (2018): 356-370.

Proposes that the positive effect of extended contact can occur even when the ingroup members having outgroup friends are unknown to the individual who becomes aware of such contact – depersonalized extended contact.

"Making Advantaged Racial Groups Care About Inequality: Intergroup Contact as a Route to Psychological Investment" Current Directions in Psychological Science (2018).

Provides a theoretical overview and frame to explain why intergroup contact may enhance commitment to racial justice and equality among members of historically advantaged groups.

Making Research Matter: A Psychologist's Guide to Public Engagement (American Psychological Association, 2017).

Summarizes key strategies and insights for academic psychologists to enhance their ability to share research findings with policymakers, journalists, and other non-academic audiences.

When Groups Meet: The Dynamics of Intergroup Contact (with Thomas F. Pettigrew) (Psychology Press, 2011).

Synthesizes a half-century of research showing when and how interactions between members of different groups are likely to contribute to lower intergroup prejudice.

"How Does Intergroup Contact Reduce Prejudice? Meta‐Analytic Tests of Three Mediators" (with Thomas F. Pettigrew). European Journal of Social Psychology 38, no. 6 (2008).

Addresses the issue of process: just how does contact diminish prejudice? Tests meta‐analytically the three most studied mediators: contact reduces prejudice by (1) enhancing knowledge about the outgroup, (2) reducing anxiety about intergroup contact, and (3) increasing empathy and perspective taking. Tests reveal mediational effects for all three of these mediators.