This study analyzes the cognitive representations of ethnic minorities in a sample of Spanish undergraduate students. As a general hypothesis it was predicted that perceived differences in social status shape these representations and expectations for contact. In consecutive group interviews, participants were quizzed about their knowledge, experiences and expectations associated with social interactions with people belonging to ethnic minority groups. The information obtained from the participants was analyzed by using a mixture of quantitative and qualitative techniques in order to discover underlying dimensions in their responses. The results confirmed our prediction by displaying different associations between different types of contact (e.g., positive, negative) and the representations of minorities according to their position in the perceived social hierarchy. Findings are discussed in terms of their potential implications for contact interventions.
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