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EASP – European Association of Social Psychology

EASP Small Group Meeting “Addressing challenges in intergroup contact research"

13.12.2023, by Maria-Therese Friehs in call for papers

Meeting: August 25th-27th, 2024 in Hamburg, Germany
Submission deadline: February 11th, 2024


A small-group meeting to develop new and innovative collaborative lines of research

The intergroup contact hypothesis, which assumes that interactions between members of different groups improve outgroup attitudes, is widely discussed as a potent pathway to improve intergroup relations. Seventy years after the publication of Allport’s seminal work, intergroup contact research is still thriving and is being addressed by a large community of researchers. However, recent overviews such as the 2021 special issue “Intergroup contact research in the 21st century” in the Journal of Social Issues identified a number of aspects of intergroup contact research that need further attention, such as a more differentiated understanding of intergroup contact effects for minority groups, the adequate analysis of longitudinal contact data, the identification of predictors of intergroup contact, a more detailed investigation of contact self-selection effects, the integration of different levels of analysis, a call for methodological sound intervention studies in the field, and many more.

We believe that investigating these research questions is very challenging for individual researchers because it requires considerable expertise and resources, for instance for realising randomised-controlled trials, field interventions, diary or large-scale longitudinal studies or data collections in multiple contexts. Consequently, we are convinced that such research ideas are best addressed using Big Team Science, that is large collaborations of different researchers and labs. In order to initiate such collaborative research projects, we will hold a and EASP-funded small-group meeting on August 25th-27th, 2024, at the Medical School Hamburg, Germany. The meeting will provide a platform for initiating and fostering large collaborative research activities and discussing the “hot topics” in intergroup contact research that need to be addressed collaboratively in future research. Unlike “traditional” conferences formats, which mainly focus on presenting recently conducted research projects, this small-group meeting will be very practical with a strong focus on future research. At the meeting, our invited speakers John Dixon (The Open University, UK), Eva Green (Université de Lausanne, Switzerland), Tabea Hässler (Universität Zürich, Switzerland), Nils Reimer (University of California, Santa Barbara, USA) and Linda Tropp (University of Massachusetts Amherst, USA) will share their expertise and perspectives on the current state of intergroup contact research and identify hot-topics for future contact research. Subsequently, the meeting will provide ample opportunity for networking and exchange about future research questions and ideas. In various “hackathon-style” working sessions, we will encourage all participants to team up with existing and new collaborators, discuss open questions in intergroup contact research and plan future lines of research. These research lines will be presented at the end of the meeting and should ideally be realized after the meeting.

The small-group meeting will include about 40 participants of all career levels and diverse backgrounds who are willing to conduct intergroup contact research in the future (previous experience in intergroup contact research is welcome, but not obligatory). We especially invite early-career researchers (i.e., pre- and post-doc researchers) and researchers from historically under-represented groups and contexts to participate. As decreed by the funding conditions of the EASP, at least 50% of the participants need to be EASP members. This meeting is generously sponsored by the EASP, the FernUniversität in Hagen and the Medical School Hamburg, which allows us to plan the small-group meeting to be free of charge. However, if required, small fees might be collected for catering and social activities at a later point. 

Interested researchers are invited to fill in the following survey to apply for participation in the small-group meeting:

Submission deadline is February 11th, 2024. Notification of acceptance will be sent via e-mail until Mid-March 2024 at the latest.

For all questions and inquiries, please feel free to contact us via

We are looking forward to seeing you in Hamburg in August!

Maria-Therese Friehs (FernUniversität in Hagen, Germany), Mathias Kauff (Medical School Hamburg, Germany), and Oliver Christ (FernUniversität in Hagen, Germany)