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.
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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.
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.
Summarizes key strategies and insights for academic psychologists to enhance their ability to share research findings with policymakers, journalists, and other non-academic audiences.
Synthesizes a half-century of research showing when and how interactions between members of different groups are likely to contribute to lower intergroup prejudice.
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.