Reducing Islamophobia through Conversation: A Randomized Control Trial

Kathryn Benier, Nicholas Faulkner, Isak Ladegaard, Rebecca Wickes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Islamophobia is a global problem that has reached epidemic proportions according to recent government reports and international research. In this preregistered, randomized control study, conducted in a field setting in Australia (N = 227), we investigated whether Islamophobia—negative and hostile attitudes toward Islam and Muslim people—was reduced by a short door-to-door canvassing intervention. Our study involved participants who had expressed negative or ambivalent attitudes toward Muslim residents in a previous survey. These participants were randomly assigned to receive either no treatment or a 15-minute door-knocking conversation that encouraged empathy building through (1) active processing of new information and (2) perspective taking through personal reflections on past experiences of exclusion. Follow-up surveys suggest that, compared with a baseline survey completed before the intervention, prejudice was significantly reduced in the treatment group 6 and 12 weeks later.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalSocial psychology quarterly
StateAccepted/In press - 2024


  • Islamophobia
  • discrimination
  • immigration
  • prejudice
  • randomized control trial

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology


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