Does the truth count? The role of false beliefs on negative attitudes towards asylum seekers.

Hannah Jarrold (2010). Does the truth count? The role of false beliefs on negative attitudes towards asylum seekers. Honours Thesis, School of Psychology, The University of Queensland.

       
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Author Hannah Jarrold
Thesis Title Does the truth count? The role of false beliefs on negative attitudes towards asylum seekers.
School, Centre or Institute School of Psychology
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 2010
Thesis type Honours Thesis
Supervisor Judith Griffiths
Total pages 68
Abstract/Summary The continued arrival of asylum seekers on Australian shores has been causing controversy and negative public opinion amongst the Australian people (Parliament of Australia, 2010, Klocker, 2004). However, these opinions tend to be surrounded by misinformation and myth, otherwise known as false beliefs. The aim of the current thesis was to examine the role false beliefs play in fueling negative attitudes towards asylum seekers. Queensland residents (N = 148) completed a questionnaire measuring demographic variables, national identity and attitudes and responses to false belief statements. Participants were randomly assigned to one of three conditions, varying in the nature of the information attached to false belief statements (i.e. information supporting false beliefs, information disputing false beliefs, or information irrelevant to false beliefs). Results found that gender, education, political orientation, high nationalism, and high endorsement of false beliefs were significantly related to negative attitudes towards asylum seekers. Condition was not seen to influence attitudes. After controlling for demographic variables and nationalism, endorsement of false beliefs was shown to significantly predict negative attitudes towards asylum seekers. Implications of these findings are discussed.

 
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Created: Wed, 06 Apr 2011, 08:33:16 EST by Lucy O'Brien on behalf of School of Psychology