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    Communicating economic evidence about immigration changes attitudes and policy preference

    Ahlstrom-Vij, Kristoffer and Allen, Will (2023) Communicating economic evidence about immigration changes attitudes and policy preference. International Migration Review , ISSN 0197-9183.

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    Existing studies demonstrate that threat perceptions matter for immigration attitudes. However, while these perceptions are potentially sensitive to information about immigrants’ impacts, questions remain about whether inserting such information into public debates changes attitudes and policy preferences—especially on polarizing issues like immigration. Moreover, few studies have considered messages featuring the type of non-photorealistic visual elements that increasingly appear in media. Using a survey experiment fielded in the United Kingdom, we examined whether evidence about European Union immigrants’ modestly positive economic impacts on the UK—presented either as text, with visualizations, or as an animated film—changed immigration attitudes and policy preferences. While visual elements did not have an effect over and above text, all the informational treatments moved attitudes and preferences in positive directions, even among Leave voters. Our study brings together research on immigration public opinion and visual media, and has implications for policymaking and journalism practice.


    Item Type: Article
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Historical Studies
    Depositing User: Kristoffer Ahlstrom-Vij
    Date Deposited: 17 Apr 2023 12:58
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 18:19


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