The goal of the present study was to examine whether empathy, when shown by a member of a stigmatized out-group, increases liking and rapport, and whether this effect generalizes to the out-group as a whole. Eighty-nine participants were asked to narrate a sad autobiographical event in the presence of a confederate who was either an in-group or an out-group member. During the interaction, the confederate either kept a neutral demeanour throughout or showed facial expressions congruent with the story content. Overall, participants rated both the in-group and the out-group confederate more positively when they displayed a congruent facial expression. However, this increase in liking did not generalize to the out-group to which the confederate belonged. Results are discussed in terms of their implications for multicultural countries, including New Zealand.
Yabar, Y., & Hess, U. (2007). Display of empathy and perception of out-group members. New Zealand Journal of Psychology, 36(1), 42-49.