Getting By With A Little Help From Your Friends
University of Ulster research probes pals’ influences on Northern Ireland prejudice levels.
Just having a friend who has a friend from the ‘other side’ can reduce levels of sectarian prejudice among individuals in Northern Ireland, according to new psychological research from the University of Ulster.
This research was carried out in the context of inter-community relations in Northern Ireland. In two surveys, one with over 300 university students and the other with over 700 randomly selected members of the Northern Ireland population, the researchers, led by Professor Ed Cairns, showed that just knowing that your friend has a friend from the other community can reduce your prejudice levels - and anxiety about encounters with the ‘other side.’
In a ground-breaking study just published in a leading American scientific journal, an international team of researchers from the University of Ulster and the University of Oxford, found evidence to suggest that even our friends’ friends may have a subtle influence on us.
This study could have important policy implications for cross-community work in Northern Ireland, say the authors.
According to Professor Cairns, “We all know that we can be influenced by our friends in various subtle ways. But what about our friends friends - that is, people we have never even met?
“Our study suggests that, for example, even one child living in a segregated neighbourhood who attends an integrated school or a cross-community workshop could be having a positive ripple effect on the sectarian attitudes of his or her friends when he returns to his home patch”.
Also, according to Professor Cairns, research such as this is beginning for the first time to tell us not only whether cross-community contact is effective as a way of reducing prejudice, but to reveal the psychological process that underlie when it works and how it works.
“As we learn more about what goes on in these prejudice reducing contact situations we can ensure that scientifically designed cross-community work will play a growing role in contributing to greater peace and prosperity in the Northern Ireland of the future” he said.
David Young | University of Ulster
The most recent press releases about innovation >>>
Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:
Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.
Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a bacterium that colonizes by far more than half of the skin and the mucosa of adults, usually without causing infections....
Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.
The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....
An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.
We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...
Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.
Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...
Nano-hologram paves way for integration of 3-D holography into everyday electronics
An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...