The present study aims to examine whether by promoting the socio-analytic thinking it is possible to intervene in the reliance on ethnic moral disengagement as a negative consequence of racial misleading news, that can seriously contribute to the diffusion of ethnic prejudice. We focus on the neglected phenomenon of racial hoaxes, which can be defined as misleading news stories dealing with health or safety threats, in which the protagonist is described in terms of ethnicity or nationality. The intervention procedure has been created starting from the well-established literature focused on media biases’ reflection, integrated with the recent studies on ‘mediated intergroup contact’ where the observation of the person belonging to the outgroup is crucial for prejudice reduction. The intervention involved 83 adolescents (Mage = 13.9; SDage = 0.9) and it was composed of two different parts, one focused on the analytical racial hoax reading, and the other focused on racial hoax rewriting after the ‘mediated contact’, represented by an alternative story given by the African protagonist. The results show that in dealing with misleading news, the promotion of this social-analytic processing reduces ethnic biases of moral disengagement. In particular, it was found that analytical processes are supported by the participants’ level of propensity for analytical reasoning and that these processes directly hinder distorted ethnic beliefs. Overall, these results suggest that improving social-analytic processes related to reflexivity could be an effective intervention to counter those distorted beliefs, such as ethnic disengagement beliefs, associated with discrimination and racial prejudice.

Addressing racial misinformation at school: a psycho-social intervention aimed at reducing ethnic moral disengagement in adolescents

Francesca D’Errico
Conceptualization
;
Paolo Giovanni Cicirelli
;
2023-01-01

Abstract

The present study aims to examine whether by promoting the socio-analytic thinking it is possible to intervene in the reliance on ethnic moral disengagement as a negative consequence of racial misleading news, that can seriously contribute to the diffusion of ethnic prejudice. We focus on the neglected phenomenon of racial hoaxes, which can be defined as misleading news stories dealing with health or safety threats, in which the protagonist is described in terms of ethnicity or nationality. The intervention procedure has been created starting from the well-established literature focused on media biases’ reflection, integrated with the recent studies on ‘mediated intergroup contact’ where the observation of the person belonging to the outgroup is crucial for prejudice reduction. The intervention involved 83 adolescents (Mage = 13.9; SDage = 0.9) and it was composed of two different parts, one focused on the analytical racial hoax reading, and the other focused on racial hoax rewriting after the ‘mediated contact’, represented by an alternative story given by the African protagonist. The results show that in dealing with misleading news, the promotion of this social-analytic processing reduces ethnic biases of moral disengagement. In particular, it was found that analytical processes are supported by the participants’ level of propensity for analytical reasoning and that these processes directly hinder distorted ethnic beliefs. Overall, these results suggest that improving social-analytic processes related to reflexivity could be an effective intervention to counter those distorted beliefs, such as ethnic disengagement beliefs, associated with discrimination and racial prejudice.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11586/420635
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