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Filter by author: Alexandra L. Beauchamp

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Dec 06, 2023 Article
Which scientist are you? Creating self-outgroup overlap with a scientist through a personality matching game

by Alexandra L. Beauchamp, Su-Jen Roberts and Craig Piper

Based in intergroup contact theory, we investigated how messaging about shared characteristics affects perceived closeness with scientists (i.e., self-outgroup overlap). In an online study, participants ($N=486$) played a personality matching game that matched them with a real scientist, then they responded to a survey. We replicated the study at a zoo ($N=63$) to examine implementation as a facilitated game. Self-scientist overlap improved in the online setting; in the in situ setting, trust increased, but not self-scientist overlap. Findings suggest that learning about how one scientist is similar to one's self can increase perceived closeness to scientists overall.

Volume 22 • Issue 05 • 2023

Oct 12, 2022 Article
Changing attitudes toward scientists by reducing intergroup biases: how a signage intervention focused on decategorization and recategorization improved trust

by Alexandra Beauchamp, Su-Jen Roberts and Craig Piper

We experimentally examined how messaging strategies that prompted differences in how scientists are categorized as a group increased positive science attitudes among non-scientists. Results from the first study showed that messaging which personalizes science or highlights shared common identities with scientists diminishes outgroup effects through recategorization or decategorization, respectively. Study 2 largely replicated these results in an ecologically valid setting: a zoo. Collectively, these studies support the use of the recategorization strategy for improving trust and science attitudes, but produced less consistent effects for decategorization. The results emphasized the importance of contextualized messaging when creating effective appeals in science communication.

Volume 21 • Issue 06 • 2022