Department of Psychology

Samuel Gaertner

Director, Social Psychology Graduate Program

Ph.D., The City University of New York, 1970


231 Wolf Hall
Office Hours:
Mon. & Tues. 4-5
(302) 831-2268
(302) 831-3645 Fax

Samuel Gaertner

Intergroup relations: reducing prejudice and discrimination

I am interested in intergroup relations and in particular, how prejudice, discrimination and intergroup conflict can be reduced. My current research explores the possibility that inducing the members of two groups to conceive of themselves as a single, more inclusive group or as subgroups within the same inclusive group structure (i.e., a “dual identity”), can harness cognitive and motivational processes that encourage more harmonious intergroup relations. This work has led us back and forth from the laboratory to more applied settings such as corporate mergers, blended families, and public school classrooms. Related to this research, I am also continuing to study "Aversive Racism" that exists among "Well-intentioned" people, who often express their racial attitudes in subtle, indirect and rationalizable ways that preclude them from recognizing their racial biases.  The current research is attempting to learn if such subtle forms of racism can be eliminated by inducing an enhanced sense of partnership or common ingroup identity. This work has been recognized by the 1986 and 1998 Gordon Allport Intergroup Relations Prize (together with John Dovidio, Yale University) awarded by the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues (Division 9 of the American Psychological Association). Also, in 2004 this work was awarded the Kurt Lewin Memorial Award (a career award) by the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues (Division 9 of the American Psychological Association). This award is presented annually for “outstanding contributions to the development and integration of psychological research and social action.”

Recent Publications

Gaertner, S. L., & Dovidio, J. F. (in press). Positive thoughts about positive approaches to intergroup relations. In L. R. Tropp & R. K. Mallett (Eds.), Beyond prejudice reduction: Pathways to positive intergroup relations. Washington DC: APA Books.

Gaertner, S. L., & Dovidio, J. F. (in press). Reducing Intergroup Bias: The Common Ingroup Identity Model. In P. Van Lange, A. Kruglanski, & E. T. Higgins (Eds.), Handbook of theories of social psychology. London: Sage.

Riek, B. M., Mania, E. W., Gaertner, S. L., Direso, S. A., & Lamoreaux, M. J. (2010). Does a common ingroup identity reduce intergroup threat? Group Processes and Intergroup Relations, 13, 403-423.

Gaertner, S. L., Dovidio, J. F., & Houlette, M. A. (2010). Social categorization. In J. F. Dovidio, M. Hewstone, & V. M. Esses, (Eds.), Handbook of prejudice stereotyping and discrimination (pp. 526-543). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Hehman, E., Mania, E., & Gaertner, S. L. (2010). Where the division lies: Common Ingroup Identity moderates the Cross-Race Effect. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 46, 445-448.

Representative Publications

Gaertner, S. L., & Dovidio, J. F. (2009). A Common Ingroup Identity: A categorization-based approach for reducing intergroup bias. In T. Nelson (Ed.), Handbook of Prejudice (pp. 489-505). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Gaertner, S. L. , & Dovidio, J F. (2005). Categorization, recateogrization and intergroup bias. In J. F. Dovidio, P. Glick & L. Rudman. Reflecting on the Nature of Prejudice. Philadelphia: Psychology Press.

Gaertner, S. L. , Dovidio, J. D., Nier, J. A., Hodson, G., & Houlette (2005). Aversive Racism: Bias Without Intention. In Nelson, R. L. & Nielson, L. B. (Eds.). Affirmative Action: Rights and Realities, London, UK: Oxford University Press.

Dovidio, J. F., & Gaertner, S. L. (2004). Aversive racism. In M. P. Zanna (Ed.), Advances in experimental social psychology (pp. 1 – 52). San Diego, CA: Academic Press.

Banker, B. S., Gaertner, S. L. , Dovidio, J. F., Houlette, M., Johnson, K. S., & Riek, B. M (2004). In M. Bennett and F. Sani (Eds.), The Development of the Social Self. Reducing Stepfamily Conflict: The Importance of an Inclusive Social Identity. New York: Psychology Press.

Houlette, M., Gaertner, S. L. , Johnson, K. M., Banker, B. S., Riek, B. M., and Dovidio, J. F. (2004). Developing a more inclusive social identity: An Elementary school intervention. Journal of Social Issues,60(1), 35-55.

Gaertner, S. L. & Dovidio, J. F.  (2000). Reducing Intergroup Bias: The Common Ingroup Identity Model.  Philadelphia, PA: Psychology Press.

Gaertner, S. L. , Dovidio, J. F., Anastasio, P. A., Bachman, B. A., & Rust, M. C. (1993). The common ingroup identity model: Recategorization and the reduction of intergroup bias. In W. Stroebe & M. Hewstone (Eds.), European Review of social Psychology, Vol. 4, pp. 1-26.

Gaertner, S. L. , Mann, J., Murrell, A., & Dovidio, J. F. (1989). Reducing intergroup bias: The benefits of recategorization. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 57(2), 239-249.

Gaertner, S. L. , & Dovidio, J. F. (1986). The aversive form of racism. In J. F. Dovidio & S. L. Gaertner (Eds.), Prejudice, Discrimination, and Racism. Orlando, FL: Academic Press.

  • Department of Psychology - University of Delaware 108 Wolf Hall  •   Newark, DE 19716  •   USA
    Phone: 302-831-2271