Mediated Vicarious Contact with Transgender People: How Narrative Perspective and Interaction Depiction Influence Intergroup Attitudes, Transportation, and Elevation

  • Minjie Li The University of Tampa
Keywords: Transgender, Intergroup contact, Mediated vicarious contact, Social cognitive theory, Elevation


The emerging intergroup perspective-taking narrative has become a mainstream representational strategy in the rise of transgender media visibility. Taking an experimental design approach, this study investigates how narrative perspective (Ingroup Perspective vs. Outgroup Perspective) interacts with intergroup interaction depiction (Positive vs. Negative) in transgender-related media content to redirect people’s attitudes toward transgender people, transportation, and elevation responses. The findings reveal that the outgroup perspective is more likely to elicit 1) positive attitudes toward the featured transgender character and the transgender outgroup; 2) transportation; and 3) meaningful affect, mixed affect, and motivational responses. However, the positive depiction of transgender-cisgender intergroup interaction only prompts positive attitudes toward the transgender character, meaningful affect, and physical responses. Implications of such intergroup communication strategies in public interest communications are discussed.

Author Biography

Minjie Li, The University of Tampa
Minjie Li (Ph.D., Louisiana State University) is an assistant professor at the University of Tampa. His research stands at the intersection of media diversity, media psychology, and prosocial and public interest communications.


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