As a result of migratory flow and globalization, the Dutch population has been subject to an enormous increase in diversity. The way that individuals and groups from different ethnic, cultural and religious backgrounds interact within a mixed society is a subject of research. More specifically, research is aimed at investigating those factors that may either enhance or interfere with the relations between different (cultural) groups. Wherever there is diversity, tension can and does arise, which may negatively affect cohesion and the sense of security within a society; Differences of opinion can lead to increased prevalence of communication problems and conflict. A native majority may perceive a minority group as a threat to its identity. How this identity is formed and influenced by a changing society is therefore an important area of research.
Ignorance often breeds prejudice and stereotyping. This means that a group is often associated with certain characteristics that are not necessarily based in reality. Such prejudice is sometimes formed by statements in the media, a Dutch example being statements regarding the criminality of Moroccans. The extent to which prejudice occurs, and how this leads to conflict between groups and discrimination within Dutch society is an important research theme. Similarly, research is being done into how and why cultural world views are being threatened by experience of discrimination, how norms and self-image affect the behavior of people, and how moral views or emotions influence attitude and behavior between groups.