Department of Political Science

Correcting Citizens’ Misperceptions about non-Western Immigrants: Corrective Information, Interpretations, and Policy Opinions

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Can corrective information change citizens’ misperceptions about immigrants and subsequently lead to favorable immigration opinions? While prior studies from the U.S. document how corrections about the size of minority populations fail to change citizens’ immigration-related opinions, they do not examine how other facts that speak to immigrants’ cultural or economic dependency rates can influence immigration policy opinions. To extend earlier work, we conducted a large-scale survey experiment fielded to a nationally representative sample of Danes. We randomly expose participants to information about non-Western immigrants’ (1) welfare dependency rate, (2) crime rate, and (3) proportion of the total population. We find that participants update their factual beliefs in light of correct information, but reinterpret the information in a highly selective fashion, ultimately failing to change their policy preferences.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Experimental Political Science
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2019

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ID: 169350113