Attitudes Towards Humanitarian Refugees and Asylum Seekers: The Role of Contact and Social Categorisation

Gooding, Emalyn (2014). Attitudes Towards Humanitarian Refugees and Asylum Seekers: The Role of Contact and Social Categorisation Honours Thesis, School of Psychology, The University of Queensland.

       
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Author Gooding, Emalyn
Thesis Title Attitudes Towards Humanitarian Refugees and Asylum Seekers: The Role of Contact and Social Categorisation
School, Centre or Institute School of Psychology
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 2014-10-08
Thesis type Honours Thesis
Supervisor Judith Griffiths
Total pages 100
Language eng
Subjects 1701 Psychology
Abstract/Summary Current literature regarding Australians’ attitudes towards refugees and asylum seekers has highlighted negative attitudes towards both groups. Consistently, intergroup contact has been a factor found to reduce prejudice and negative intergroup attitudes. Intergroup contact may also affect the categorisation process and influence judgments. The aim of this thesis was to further investigate the role of contact and how it influences our attitudes, judgments and the categorisation process in the context of humanitarian refugees and asylum seekers in Australia. Queensland residents (N = 194) were randomly assigned to read about a person that was from one of three countries and was either a humanitarian refugee or an asylum seeker. They then completed a questionnaire measuring their impression of the person, Social Dominance Orientation (SDO), social desirability, prejudicial attitudes towards humanitarian refugees or asylum seekers and a free recall task. Results found social desirability and national identification were not significantly related to attitudes. Conversely, high SDO and high prejudicial attitudes were significantly related to negative attitudes. Migrant’s status and country of origin were not seen to influence attitudes. Prejudicial attitudes and level of contact did not significantly interact to influence attitudes. Contact quality was found to be a stronger predictor of attitudes than contact quantity, although neither was found to be significant predictors of attitudes. This is a very important topic to investigate that has both theoretical and practical implications. This research suggests ways to improve Australians’ negative attitudes and reduced prejudice towards humanitarian refugees and asylum seekers.
Keyword attitudes
Humanitarian
Refugees
Asylum seekers
contact
Social Categorization

 
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Created: Wed, 29 Apr 2015, 11:31:31 EST by Anita Whybrow on behalf of School of Psychology