Due to the recent conflicts between China and South Korea (mainly the THAAD incident), we intended to examine whether mediated intergroup contact through TV series and films can be beneficial for improving their intergroup relations. Moreover, a novel type of indirect intergroup contact was proposed and termed as extended mediated contact. The general objective is to investigate and differentiate its relationships with intergroup relations (i.e. intergroup attitudes and post-conflict forgiveness) with those of mediated contact. Chinese university students were selected as the sample of our study and 366 participants completed an online survey. Results from the structural equation modeling (SEM) analysis revealed that both mediated and extended mediated contact positively predicted cultural affinity, which, in turn, positively predicted both intergroup attitudes and post-conflict forgiveness. As compared to mediated contact, extended mediated contact exerted significant but weaker effects. The bootstrapping method in SEM revealed that cultural affinity played a mediating role in the relationships of the two types of contact to intergroup attitudes and forgiveness.
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.
Buy single article
Instant unlimited access to the full article PDF.
Price includes VAT for USA
Subscribe to journal
Immediate online access to all issues from 2019. Subscription will auto renew annually.
This is the net price. Taxes to be calculated in checkout.
Allport, G. W. (1954). The nature of prejudice. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley.
Anastasio, P. A., Rust, M. C., Dovidio, J. F., & Bachman, B. A. (1994). The contact hypothesis. Small Group Research, 25(2), 224–249. https://doi.org/10.1177/1046496494252005.
Antonucci, T. C., Ajrouch, K. J., Webster, N. J., & Birditt, K. S. (2018). Social networks and forgiveness: The role of trust and efficacy. Research in Human Development, 15(1), 3–20. https://doi.org/10.1080/15427609.2017.1415093.
Bagozzi, R. P., & Yi, Y. (1988). On the evaluation of structural equation models. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 16(1), 74–94. https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02723327.
Bandura, A. (2002). Social cognitive theory of mass communication. In J. Bryant & D. Zillmann (Eds.), Media effects: Advances in theory and research (2nd ed., pp. 121–153). Hillsdate NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc..
Baron, R. M., & Kenny, D. A. (1986). The moderator-mediator variable distinction in social psychological research: Conceptual, strategic, and statistical considerations. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 51(6), 1173–1182. https://doi.org/10.1037//0022-35188.8.131.523.
Bi, Y. D. (2017). Sino-ROK relations under the shadow of THAAD. Contemporary Korea, 4, 37–48 (in Chinese).
Bilali, R., Vollhardt, J. R., & Rarick, J. R. D. (2017). Modeling collective action through media to promote social change and positive intergroup relations in violent conflicts. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 68, 200–211. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jesp.2016.07.005.
Brannon, T. N., & Walton, G. M. (2013). Enacting cultural interests: How intergroup contact reduces prejudice by sparking interest in an out-group’s culture. Psychological Science, 24(10), 1947–1957. https://doi.org/10.1177/0956797613481607.
Byrne, B. (2010). Structural equation modeling with AMOS. Basic concepts, applications, and programming. New York: Routledge.
Cao, C., Zhu, C., & Meng, Q. (2017). Predicting Chinese international students’ acculturation strategies from socio-demographic variables and social ties. Asian Journal of Social Psychology, 20(2), 85–96. https://doi.org/10.1111/ajsp.12171.
Cao, C., Meng, Q., & Shang, L. (2018). How can Chinese international students’ host-national contact contribute to social connectedness, social support and reduced prejudice in the mainstream society? Testing a moderated mediation model. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 63, 43–52. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijintrel.2017.12.002.
Chen, R. (2013). A critical analysis of the U.S. “pivot” toward the Asia-Pacific: How realistic is neo-realism? Connections: The Quarterly Journal, 12(3), 39–62. https://doi.org/10.11610/Connections.12.3.03.
Cheung, G. W., & Lau, R. S. (2007). Testing mediation and suppression effects of latent variables: Bootstrapping with structural equation models. Organizational Research Methods, 11, 296–325. https://doi.org/10.1177/1094428107300343.
Chin, W. W. (1998). The partial least squares approach to structural equation modeling. In G. A. Marcoulides (Ed.), Modern methods for business research (pp. 295–336). Mahwah: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Chung, J. H., & Choi, M. (2013). Uncertain allies or uncomfortable neighbors? Making sense of China-North Korea relations, 1949-2010. The Pacific Review, 26(3), 243–264. https://doi.org/10.1080/09512748.2012.759262.
Dhont, K., & Van Hiel, A. (2011). Direct contact and authoritarianism as moderators between extended contact and reduced prejudice: Lower threat and greater trust as mediators. Group Processes & Intergroup Relations, 14(2), 223–237. https://doi.org/10.1177/1368430210391121.
Eyal, K., & Dailey, R. M. (2012). Examining relational maintenance in parasocial relationships. Mass Communication and Society, 15(5), 758–781. https://doi.org/10.1080/15205436.2011.616276.
Fourie, J., & Santana-Gallego, M. (2013). Ethnic Reunion and cultural affinity. Tourism Management, 36, 411–420. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tourman.2012.10.002.
Gan, C., & Li, H. (2018). Understanding the effects of gratifications on the continuance intention to use WeChat in China: A perspective on uses and gratifications. Computers in Human Behavior, 78, 306–315.
Hamer, K., Penczek, M., & Bilewicz, M. (2017). “Humanum ignoscere Est”. The relationship of national and supranational identifications with intergroup forgiveness. Personality and Individual Differences, 105, 257–263. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2016.09.058.
Hayward, L. E., Tropp, L. R., Hornsey, M. J., & Barlow, F. K. (2017). Toward a comprehensive understanding of intergroup contact: Descriptions and mediators of positive and negative contact among majority and minority groups. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 43(3), 347–364. https://doi.org/10.1177/0146167216685291.
Hewstone, M., & Brown, R. (1986). Contact is not enough: An intergroup perspective on the “contact hypothesis”. In M. Hewstone & R. Brown (Eds.), Contact and conflict in intergroup encounters (pp. 1–44). Oxford, UK: Blackwell.
Jiang, W. (2017). Investigating the success of “descendants of the sun” in China. Journal of News research, 8(17), 31–32 (in Chinese).
Joyce, N., & Harwood, J. (2014). Improving intergroup attitudes through televised vicarious intergroup contact: Social cognitive processing of ingroup and outgroup information. Communication Research, 41(5), 627–643. https://doi.org/10.1177/0093650212447944.
Kang, J. Q. (2017). Effects of Korean TV series on Chinese university students’ views of love. Lao Qu Jian She, 20, 73–77 (in Chinese).
Katz, E., & Lazarsfeld, P. (1955). Personal influence. New York: Free Press.
Kim, E., & Cha, V. D. (2016). Between a rock and a hard place: South Korea's strategic dilemmas with China and the United States. Asia Policy, 21(1), 101–121. https://doi.org/10.1353/asp.2016.0016.
Kim, H., & Heo, U. (2016). What affects Korea–US relations? Pacific Focus, 31(1), 31–55. https://doi.org/10.1111/pafo.12064.
Kim, H., & Richardson, S. L. (2003). Motion picture impacts on destination images. Annals of Tourism Research, 30(1), 216–237. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0160-7383(02)00062-2.
Lam, V. L., & Katona, Z. (2018). National and supranational identities and ingroup-outgroup attitudes of Hungarian adolescents. European Journal of Developmental Psychology, 15(1), 115–130. https://doi.org/10.1080/17405629.2017.1333421.
Lienemann, B. A., & Stopp, H. T. (2013). The association between media exposure of interracial relationships and attitudes toward interracial relationships. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 43, E398–E415. https://doi.org/10.1111/jasp.12037.
Meng, Q., Zhu, C., & Cao, C. (2017). An exploratory study of Chinese University Undergraduates' global competence: Effects of internationalisation at home and motivation. Higher Education Quarterly, 71(2), 159–181. https://doi.org/10.1111/hequ.12119.
Ortiz, M., & Harwood, J. (2007). A social cognitive theory approach to the effects of mediated intergroup contact on intergroup attitudes. Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, 51(4), 615–631
Pagotto, L., & Voci, A. (2013). Direct and mass-mediated contact: The role of different intergroup emotions. TPM: Testing, Psychometrics, Methodology in Applied Psychology, 20(4), 365–381. https://doi.org/10.4473/TPM20.4.5.
Paluck, E. L., & Green, D. P. (2009). Deference, dissent, and dispute resolution: An experimental intervention using mass media to change norms and behavior in Rwanda. The American Political Science Review, 103, 622–644. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0003055409990128.
Park, S. (2005). The impact of media use and cultural exposure on the mutual perception of Koreans and Japanese. Asian Journal of Communication, 15(2), 173–187. https://doi.org/10.1080/01292980500118755.
Park, S. Y. (2012). Mediated intergroup contact: Concept explication, synthesis, and application. Mass Communication and Society, 15(1), 136–159. https://doi.org/10.1080/15205436.2011.558804.
Podsakoff, P. M., MacKenzie, S. B., Lee, J. Y., & Podsakoff, N. P. (2003). Common method biases in behavioral research: A critical review of the literature and recommended remedies. Journal of Applied Psychology, 88(5), 879–903. https://doi.org/10.1037/0021-9010.88.5.879.
Rupar, M., & Graf, S. (2019). Different forms of intergroup contact with former adversary are linked to distinct reconciliatory acts through symbolic and realistic threat. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 49(2), 63–74. https://doi.org/10.1111/jasp.12565.
Samovar, L., Porter, R., & McDenial, E. R (2009). Communication between cultures (7th edn.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.
Schiappa, E., Gregg, P. B., & Hewes, D. E. (2005). The parasocial contact hypothesis. Communication Monographs, 72(1), 92–115. https://doi.org/10.1080/0363775052000342544.
Shim, C., Zhang, Y. B., & Harwood, J. (2012). Direct and mediated intercultural contact: Koreans' attitudes toward US Americans. Journal of International and Intercultural Communication, 5(3), 169–188. https://doi.org/10.1080/17513057.2012.670715.
Shrout, P. E., & Bolger, N. (2002). Mediation in experimental and nonexperimental studies: New procedures and recommendations. Psychological Methods, 7(4), 422–445. https://doi.org/10.1037/1082-989X.7.4.422.
Stephan, W. G., & Stephan, C. W. (2000). An integrated threat theory of prejudice. In S. Oskamp (Ed.), Reducing prejudice and discrimination (pp. 23–46). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.
Strelan, P., & Lawani, A. (2010). Muslim and westerner responses to terrorism: The influence of group identity on attitudes toward forgiveness and reconciliation. Peace and Conflict: Journal of Peace Psychology, 16(1), 59–79. https://doi.org/10.1080/10781910903485294.
Sun, R. (2017). An interpretation of Chinese reaction to the THAAD incident. Contemporary International Relations, 4, 3–6 (in Chinese).
Swaine, M. (2017). Chinese views on South Korea’s deployment of THAAD. China Leadership Monitor, 52(4), 1–15.
Swickert, R., Robertson, S., & Baird, D. (2016). Age moderates the mediational role of empathy in the association between gender and forgiveness. Current Psychology, 35(3), 354–360. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12144-014-9300-z.
Swift, J. S. (1999). Cultural closeness as a facet of cultural affinity: A contribution to the theory of psychic distance. International Marketing Review, 16(3), 182–201. https://doi.org/10.1108/02651339910274684.
Tam, T., Hewstone, M., Kenworthy, J. B., Cairns, E., Marinetti, C., Geddes, L., & Parkinson, B. (2008). Postconflict reconciliation: Intergroup forgiveness and implicit biases in Northern Ireland. Journal of Social Issues, 64(2), 303–320. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1540-4560.2008.00563.x.
Vincze, L., & Harwood, J. (2013). Improving intergroup attitudes via mediated intergroup contact in a bilingual setting. Multilingua, 32(3), 405–421. https://doi.org/10.1515/multi-2013-0018.
Visintin, E. P., Voci, A., Pagotto, L., & Hewstone, M. (2017). Direct, extended, and mass-mediated contact with immigrants in Italy: Their associations with emotions, prejudice, and humanity perceptions. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 47(4), 175–194. https://doi.org/10.1111/jasp.12423.
Voci, A., Hadziosmanovic, E., Cakal, H., Veneziani, C. A., & Hewstone, M. (2017). Impact of pre-war and post-war intergroup contact on intergroup relations and mental health: Evidence from a Bosnian sample. Peace and Conflict: Journal of Peace Psychology, 23(3), 250–259. https://doi.org/10.1037/pac0000222.
Wojcieszak, M., & Azrout, R. (2016). I saw you in the news: Mediated and direct intergroup contact improve outgroup attitudes. Journal of Communication, 66(6), 1032–1060. https://doi.org/10.1111/jcom.12266.
Wright, S. C., Aron, A., McLaughlin-Volpe, T., & Ropp, S. A. (1997). The extended contact effect: Knowledge of cross-group friendships and prejudice. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 73(1), 73–90. https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-35184.108.40.206.
Yoo, J. W., Jo, S., & Jung, J. (2014). The effects of television viewing, cultural proximity, and ethnocentrism on country image. Social Behavior and Personality: An International Journal, 42(1), 89–96. https://doi.org/10.2224/sbp.2014.42.1.89.
Zagefka, H., & Brown, R. (2002). The relationship between acculturation strategies, relative fit and intergroup relations: Immigrant-majority relations in Germany. European Journal of Social Psychology, 32(2), 171–188. https://doi.org/10.1002/ejsp.73.
Zhang, L., & Xu, Y. (2007). A study on college students ' states of viewing Korea trendy, identification with Korea culture and their relations. China Journal of Health Psychology., 15(12), 1057–1058.
Conflict of Interest
No potential conflict of interest was reported by the authors.
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. This article does not contain any studies with animals performed by any of the authors.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.
About this article
Cite this article
Cao, C., Meng, Q. Functional roles of mediated and extended mediated contact in promoting intergroup attitudes and post-conflict forgiveness: Mediating effects of cultural affinity. Curr Psychol (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12144-020-00612-8
- Extended mediated contact
- Mediated contact
- Cultural affinity
- Intergroup attitudes
- Intergroup forgiveness