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Allophilia is having a positive attitude for a group that is not one's own. The term derived from Greek words meaning "liking or love of the other". It is a framework for understanding effective intergroup leadership and is conceptualized as a measurable state of mind with tangible consequences.
The term "allophilia" was coined by Harvard professor Todd L. Pittinsky in 2006, after he was unable to find an antonym for prejudice in any dictionary. Studied by social scientists, allophilia is the antonym of negative prejudices and the antonym of a host of "–isms": ageism, sexism, genderism, binarism, racism, speciesism, heterosexism, antisemitism, and elitism/classism, etc.; "-phobias": homophobia, heterophobia, lesbophobia, biphobia, transphobia, effeminiphobia, sissyphobia, ephebiphobia, gerontophobia, pedophobia, surdophobia, islamophobia, xenophobia, etc.; and "anti-s": anti-communism, anti-homelessness, anti-intellectualism, anti-left handedness, etc. Allophilia can be felt towards members of a different race, sex, age, species, gender, sexual orientation, religion, social status, disability, class, ethnicity, nationality, political party, school, team, or workplace.
Allophilia has five statistical factors:
The typical remedy for prejudice is to bring conflicting groups into a state of tolerance. However, tolerance is not the logical antithesis of prejudice, but rather is the midpoint between negative feelings and positive feelings toward others. Allophilia enhancement should serve as complement to prejudice reduction.
In one study, symhedonia (experiencing empathic joy) has been shown to be more closely associated with allophilia, while sympathy (experiencing empathic sorrow) has been shown to be more strongly associated with prejudice.
- Pittinsky, T. L. (2010). A two-dimensional theory of intergroup leadership: The case of national diversity. American Psychologist, 65(3), 194-200.
- Todd Pittinsky. "Allophilia—a new framework for understanding effective intergroup leadership". Center for Public Leadership, Harvard Kennedy School. Retrieved 18 June 2013.
- "Positive prejudice: Really loving your neighbour". The Economist. 15 March 2007. Retrieved 18 June 2013.
- Ashley Pettus (January 2006). "Otherly Love: The Law of Dissimilars". Harvard Magazine. Retrieved 18 June 2013.
- Sheema Khan (28 February 2013). "Allophilia: Beyond tolerance lies true respect". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 18 June 2013.
- Pittinsky, T. L., Rosenthal, S. A., & Montoya, R. M. (2010). Measuring positive attitudes toward outgroups: Development and Validation of the Allophilia Scale. In L. Tropp & R. Mallett (Eds.), Beyond Prejudice Reduction: Pathways to Positive Intergroup Relations. Washington, D. C.: American Psychological Association.
- Pittinsky, T. L., & Montoya, R. M. (2009). Symhedonia in intergroup relations: The relationship of empathic joy to prejudice and allophilia. Psicologia Sociale, 3, 347–364.
- Pittinsky, T. L. (2009). Allophilia: Moving beyond tolerance in the classroom. Childhood Education, 85(4), 212–215.
- Pittinsky, T. L. (2009). Look both ways. Phi Delta Kappan, 90(5), 363–364.
- Speech by Minnesota Department of Human Rights Commissioner on Allophilia
- Those People: Article about Allophilia by the Boston Globe
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