The imagined contact hypothesis: prejudice towards asylum seekers in Australia

McWaters, Samuel C., and Hawkins, Russell (2018) The imagined contact hypothesis: prejudice towards asylum seekers in Australia. International Journal of Innovation, Creativity and Change, 3 (4). pp. 197-210.

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This study was prompted by awareness of prejudicial attitudes towards refugees evident in Australian media and politics. It used some innovative measures of prejudice including the distance apart in chair placements made by respondents prior to sitting next to a refugee and estimates of the hypothetical dollar value of resources to be allocated to refugees in comparison with the amount to be allocated to indigenous Australians and other social groups. More conventional attitude scale measures were also used (the Attitudes Towards Asylum Seekers Scale, an infrahumanisation measure, an empathy measure, a measure of perspective taking). In an attempt to reduce prejudice levels, the social psychology technique of imagined contact with an outgroup (asylum seekers who travel to Australia by boat) was used. The low levels of prejudice found in the present sample were both gratifying and somewhat unexpected. The study needs to be replicated with a community sample comparison group included or one initially shown to hold more strongly prejudicial attitudes.

Item ID: 53052
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2201-1323
Keywords: asylum seekers, dehumanisation, imagined contact, prejudice, refugees
Additional Information:

This article is published in a special edition of the journal: Teaching and Training in cross Cultural Competencies

Date Deposited: 05 Apr 2018 23:52
FoR Codes: 52 PSYCHOLOGY > 5205 Social and personality psychology > 520501 Community psychology @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920410 Mental Health @ 100%
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