Event Title

The Influence of Common Reminders on Attitudes toward Immigrants

Poster Number

071

Session Title

Immigration

Document Type

Poster Presentation

Faculty Mentor

Matthew Hayes, Ph.D.

College

College of Arts and Sciences

Department

Department of Psychology

Description

Xenophobia, the fear of what an outgroup can do to one's community, comes from fear of the unknown. Dual Process Model describes two different pathways to outgroup prejudice and xenophobia. One way involves beliefs that the world is dangerous, and people should value tradition and follow authorities (Right-Wing Authoritarianism), which leads to xenophobia because of the threat outsiders pose to security. The second pathway leads to a competitive jungle in which all groups compete for position in a social hierarchy (Social Dominance Orientation), which leads to xenophobia because outsiders threaten to take resources and push one’s group down the hierarchy. Mortality salience, the awareness of one’s death, can amplify these negative attitudes, but may not be commonly encountered in daily life. A daily encounter would be social media. In the 2016 election and as President, Trump uses xenophobic language (e.g., “building a wall”) on Twitter. This study compared effects of mortality salience and xenophobic tweets on negative attitudes toward immigrants. 158 students who completed an online survey assessed SDO and RWA. Then, participants were assigned to one of the following conditions: read three negative tweets about immigrants from President Trump (condition) or read three tweets on non-immigrant topics (control); write about death and what happens afterward (condition), or write about dental pain (control). Finally, participants completed a version of the modern racism scale modified to assess attitudes toward immigrants. Results indicate that commonly encountered reminders, such as tweets made by President Trump about immigrants and non-immigrants, do not trigger additional anti-immigrant attitudes.

Previously Presented/Performed?

Southeastern Psychological Association (SEPA) Annual Meeting, New Orleans, Louisiana, April 2020; Sixth Annual Showcase of Undergraduate Research and Creative Endeavors (SOURCE), Winthrop University, April 2020

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Apr 24th, 12:00 AM

The Influence of Common Reminders on Attitudes toward Immigrants

Xenophobia, the fear of what an outgroup can do to one's community, comes from fear of the unknown. Dual Process Model describes two different pathways to outgroup prejudice and xenophobia. One way involves beliefs that the world is dangerous, and people should value tradition and follow authorities (Right-Wing Authoritarianism), which leads to xenophobia because of the threat outsiders pose to security. The second pathway leads to a competitive jungle in which all groups compete for position in a social hierarchy (Social Dominance Orientation), which leads to xenophobia because outsiders threaten to take resources and push one’s group down the hierarchy. Mortality salience, the awareness of one’s death, can amplify these negative attitudes, but may not be commonly encountered in daily life. A daily encounter would be social media. In the 2016 election and as President, Trump uses xenophobic language (e.g., “building a wall”) on Twitter. This study compared effects of mortality salience and xenophobic tweets on negative attitudes toward immigrants. 158 students who completed an online survey assessed SDO and RWA. Then, participants were assigned to one of the following conditions: read three negative tweets about immigrants from President Trump (condition) or read three tweets on non-immigrant topics (control); write about death and what happens afterward (condition), or write about dental pain (control). Finally, participants completed a version of the modern racism scale modified to assess attitudes toward immigrants. Results indicate that commonly encountered reminders, such as tweets made by President Trump about immigrants and non-immigrants, do not trigger additional anti-immigrant attitudes.