Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Social Sciences



First Advisor

Prof. LUN Miu Chi Vivian

Second Advisor

Prof. YEUNG Wai Lan Victoria


When members of different social groups come into contact, interactions and intergroup attitudes are not always reciprocal between the groups. Within social psychology, intergroup relations research has long been a topic of interest. Yet, such research has mostly been conducted in Western cultural settings. There is scant research from an East Asian cultural context, where intercultural encounters have been on the rise. Existing psychological literature has put much attention on the experiences of migrants and minorities, while the views of the host majority members would often be neglected. This thesis addresses this lacuna by using social psychological theories and research designs to simultaneously examine and contrast the perceived intergroup relationships and attitudes between Africans and local Hong Kong Chinese in Hong Kong. In this thesis, social psychological research on intergroup relations forms the basis of the investigation, where several social-psychological variables, including power, intergroup perceptions, intergroup contact, threat perceptions, acculturation, and prejudice were examined in three studies to reveal the intergroup relation between African minority and Hong Kong Chinese majority. Study 1 involved an experimental manipulation of power perception among 78 local Hong Kong Chinese (Mage = 19.86, SD = 1.70) in testing the effects of power on explicit prejudice and stereotyping towards different ethnocultural groups. Results indicated a main effect of power on explicit prejudice and stereotyping towards ethnic minorities, where explicit prejudice and stereotyping were more pronounced among participants who were induced to perceive themselves as more powerful. This effect differed across various ethnocultural target groups. Study 2 involved an investigation of 60 African participants (Mage = 31.83, SD = 4.51) and 64 Hong Kong Chinese participants (Mage = 24.89, SD = 0.87), where the effects of ingroup identification and power perception on intergroup perceptual bias and evaluations were examined. The findings illustrated an overall ingroup bias in intergroup perceptions, with a more pronounced ingroup bias found in the Hong Kong Chinese sample. Further analysis also showed that perceived power of the outgroup was related to more positive outgroup evaluations. Study 3 examined the relationship between intergroup experiences and acculturation. Using a cross-sectional design, samples of Africans (N = 215) and local Hong Kong Chinese (N = 467) were surveyed, and the data were analysed using path analysis and structural equation modeling (SEM). Results indicated that specific acculturation orientations are associated with contact experiences for Africans and Hong Kong Chinese. Additionally, for the Hong Kong Chinese, positive contact predicted less prejudice, while negative contact predicted stronger prejudice towards Africans. For the African sample, negative contact significantly predicted less prejudice towards Hongkongers. Intergroup anxiety and perceived threat mediated the effects of contact on prejudice in both samples. Notably, the relationship between intergroup contact and prejudice was weaker for Africans than for Hongkongers, highlighting asymmetries in intergroup relations between Africans and Hong Kong Chinese. These findings underscore the significance of taking into account the perspectives of both the minority and the host majority members in a shared framework when studying intergroup attitudes with the aim of enhancing intergroup relations. Overall, this research makes a significant contribution to the literature on intergroup relations by addressing the processes of bidirectional acculturation and reciprocal intergroup relations between minorities and majorities in a specific sociocultural context, which is an often-neglected approach in previous social-psychological research.



Recommended Citation

Agyenim-Boateng, R. (2023). An investigation of Africans and Hongkongers relationship: A social psychological approach (Doctor's thesis, Lingnan University, Hong Kong). Retrieved from