Earlier this week, Alex Scacco (WZB) presented ongoing research on intergroup contact and prejudice titled ‘Intergroup Avoidance: Observational and Experimental Evidence from Israel. Dr. Scacco and co-authors (Alexandra Siegel and Chagai Weiss) employ a range of empirical strategies to critically evaluate the role that online information, particularly when conveyed through social media, plays in intergroup relations in Israel. Using observational data from Facebook and a Facebook-embedded field experiment, they test the effects of exposing Israelis – in a naturalistic setting – to news about the Palestinians’ daily lives in East Jerusalem, and find that this exposure does not affect intergroup attitudes and, if anything, modestly decreases engagement with outgroup social media content, evidence of “intergroup avoidance”. 

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