Multicultural experiences reduce prejudice through personality shifts in Openness to Experience

David J. Sparkman, Scott Eidelman, John C. Blanchar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


Across two studies we test the prediction that multicultural experiences reduce intercultural prejudice by increasing Openness to Experience. In Study 1, frequency of self-reported multicultural experiences was associated with greater openness and less ethnic prejudice, and openness explained the relationship between multicultural experiences and ethnic prejudice. In Study 2, we experimentally manipulated a multicultural experience. Compared to those in a control condition, participants exposed to the cultural members and elements of foreign cultures reported being higher in Openness to Experience and expressed less prejudice toward these cultural groups. There was also some evidence that multicultural exposure, through openness, caused secondary transfer effects in prejudice reduction. Our findings suggest that exposure to multicultural environments can improve intercultural attitudes by personality shifts in Openness to Experience.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)840-853
Number of pages14
JournalEuropean Journal of Social Psychology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Dec 2016
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2017 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.


  • Openness to Experience
  • diversity
  • intergroup contact
  • multicultural experiences
  • prejudice


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