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Divergent responses to local diversity: Outgroup differences and the impact of personality

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Research has shown that differences in personality can help explain attitudes towards immigration. Personality may also moderate the impact of local immigrant levels. Using attitudinal measures from the British Election Study, this research confirms the importance of all Big Five personality traits in predicting immigration attitudes in the UK and finds consistent evidence of an interaction between extraversion and local immigrant concentrations. In areas with high levels of immigrants, extraverted individuals are associated with more supportive immigration attitudes. Moreover, this study shows that the response to local immigrant levels varies by immigrant group. Levels of nonwhite immigrants and immigrants from predominantly Muslim countries are associated with greater levels of immigration hostility, whereas this is not the case for white immigrants or immigrants from Western and Eastern Europe. These findings demonstrate that an individual's response to local immigration levels depends on both their personality and the immigrant group in question.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102852
JournalSocial Science Research
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Author

    Research areas

  • Brexit, Contact hypothesis, Immigration attitudes, Personality, UK

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