Fast Friends: A Quasi-Experimental Design Among Two Racially Diverse Student Populations
Keywords:implicit, color-blind, race, attitude, quasi-experimental
This exploratory study sought to determine if the Fast Friend intervention (Aron, Melinat, Aron, Vallone, & Bator, 1997) improves racial cognizance of cross-group dyads. Data were collected from freshmen (n=34) enrolled in a college of agriculture. The treatment and control groups included cross-group, same-sex, dyads composed of African American students and Caucasian students. In this quasi-experimental, nonequivalent comparison group, descriptive statistics revealed both the treatment and control participants failed to establish a difference between pretest/posttest and between control/treatment participants in the Implicit Theory of Intelligence Scale, Color Blind Racial Attitude Scale, and Communal Orientation Scale. However, results did indicate significance in the Collective Self-Esteem Scale among treatment group participants and control group participants over time. At the end of the study, a significant difference existed as treatment participants were more adaptive while the control was more maladaptive. Results indicate that engaged conversations among interracial groups over a short period of time does not have a large impact on cognizance, but makes substantial differences among perception of whom they feel comfortable talking to. Further research should be conducted to establish interventions that measure racial cognizance through longitudinal studies, cross-institutional studies, and an increased quantity of participants.
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