Learning Facts About Migration: Politically Motivated Learning of Polarizing Information About Refugees

Autor(en)
Konstantin Glinitzer, Tobias Gummer, Markus Wagner
Abstrakt

Information processing during heated debates on asylum and immigration may often be influenced by prejudice rather than a desire to learn facts. In this article, we investigate how people process empirical evidence on the consequences of refugee arrivals through a novel survey experiment that disentangles politically motivated learning from other forms of learning and expressive responding. Specifically, we ask respondents to interpret a 2×2 table about the relationship between asylum seekers and crime rates. Crucially, respondents are randomly allocated to evaluate a conclusion that triggers their identity-protective stakes or not. In addition, we test for motivated responding as an alternative explanation by randomly providing some respondents with a response format that motivates them to report their inference truthfully. We find that information processing changes substantially when new information challenges existing asylum attitudes. Politically motivated learning is strongest among voters with strong negative prior attitudes towards asylum seekers. Our results also indicate that expressive responding can only partially account for this gap in correctly reported inferences. Our research has important implications for research on the consequences of refugee migration, theories of motivated reasoning, and survey methodology.

Organisation(en)
Institut für Staatswissenschaft
Externe Organisation(en)
GESIS – Leibniz-Institut für Sozialwissenschaften
Journal
Political Psychology
Band
42
Seiten
1053-1069
Anzahl der Seiten
17
ISSN
0162-895X
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1111/pops.12734
Publikationsdatum
03-2020
Peer-reviewed
Ja
ÖFOS 2012
506014 Vergleichende Politikwissenschaft
Schlagwörter
ASJC Scopus Sachgebiete
Experimental and Cognitive Psychology, Clinical Psychology, Philosophy, Social Psychology, Political Science and International Relations, Sociology and Political Science
Link zum Portal
https://ucris.univie.ac.at/portal/de/publications/learning-facts-about-migration-politically-motivated-learning-of-polarizing-information-about-refugees(111bd979-01a6-4915-9ec9-d0da5799c37e).html