The new function takes a closer look at the “ It Gets Better” YouTube campaign. “ Like many people, I was fascinated plus inspired when I saw the grassroots on-line movement that started in late 2010 of people posting video messages in order to teenagers who faced prejudice plus harassment based on their actual or presumed sexual orientation, ” says Aneeta Rattan of London Company School. “ I was not just shifted as an individual, but as a specialist because this behavior — publicly handling prejudice toward another group plus communicating support for members of the group — is so rare there is not a clear body of emotional science on it. ”
Rattan along with collaborator Nalini Ambady of Stanford University decided to utilize the YouTube videos as a window into the content and impact of such “ intergroup” communication. “ Social media marketing is a new frontier for interacting intergroup attitudes, ” Rattan says. In contrast, past research has shown that will majority group members rarely confront prejudice in person.
1st, Rattan and Ambady analyzed the content of the 50 most viewed movies with the #ItGetsBetter hashtag, which collectively were viewed more than 15 mil times. “ We wanted to capture the complexity of people’ t naturalistic communications, but we also wanted to be able to test for systematic differences in what people said, ” Rattan says.
They “ coded” the messages in the movies as either: messages of ease and comfort, of social connection, or of social change. “ Just stating, ‘ it gets better, ’ would be counted as a message of comfort, ” Rattan explains. Interpersonal connection messages focused on the idea that saphic girls, gay, bisexual, and questioning (LGBQ) teenagers targeted by prejudice might find social acceptance in the future. Interpersonal change messages focused on the idea that the problem can, should, or will change.
As published today within Personality and Interpersonal Psychology Bulletin , Rattan plus Ambady, who passed away in October, found that while all the messages disseminated comfort, and many included messages regarding social connection, only 22 percent mentioned social change. An additional evaluation of university student’ s composed messages confirmed that social modify messages were least frequent. These findings conform to a body of previous research showing that vast majority group members focus more on social relationships rather than empowerment in their interactions with stigmatized minorities.
Merely knowing the content of the communications was not enough, however; the researchers also wanted to understand how the communications were perceived both by the targets of the prejudice and majority group members. They asked self-identified LGBQ participants to evaluate either a social connection-focused or a social change-focused message, and also examined heterosexuals’ perceptions of the two messages.
“ Our findings showed that intergroup assistance messages that included ideas regarding social change were more soothing to LGBQ participants than those that will included ideas about social connection, ” Rattan says. “ This particular suggests that there is a benefit to interacting ideas about social change more regularly. ”
Interestingly, the particular heterosexual participants did not note a positive change between the social connection and social change messages. That they saw the particular messages as equally comforting shows that YouTube messages were not skewed towards social connection because people thought that would be more effective. It also highlights the in the impact of the messages on targets of prejudice versus non-targets. “ Because LGBQ participants reacted differently to the two messages whilst heterosexuals did not, we know that the emotional dynamics have to do with the difference within perspective between targets and non-targets, rather than the speaker vs . listener difference, ” Rattan says.
In the end, all the messages comforted the particular LGBQ youth. “ The behave of speaking out to address anti-LGBQ prejudice directed at teenagers mattered, ” Rattan says. “ What was really amazing was that LGBQ youth were maximally comforted when support communications raised the possibility of social change. ” In future work, Rattan would like to investigate the other potential benefits of social change messages.
Mentioned historic examples of intergroup support, such as when substantial numbers of White People in america joined in the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s, Rattan says: “ We might consider that their presence may have had the benefit not just of showcasing their positive beliefs plus providing support for the movement, but also of providing immediate comfort in order to Black Americans facing prejudice. ”