The effects of negative and positive information on attitudes towards immigration

Akira Igarashi*, Yoshikuni Ono

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Existing research on immigration has highlighted the close relationship between the potential threat posed by immigrants and the development of anti-immigrant sentiment among natives. However, immigrants also benefit the host society, and we know little about the effects of perceived benefits on attitudes towards immigration. We explore how exposure to negative and positive information about immigrants shapes people's attitudes towards immigrants through a vignette survey experiment. Our results revealed that respondents’ hostility towards immigrants decreased when exposed to positive information, but their attitudes did not necessarily change when they were exposed to negative information. Interestingly, these results were similarly observed in four major issue domains discussed in existing studies—jobs, financial burden, culture and physical safety. Furthermore, the effects of exposure to positive information were not modified by respondents’ partisanship, race, education or exposure to immigrants. These results suggest that pro-immigrant rhetoric can be effective in changing people's attitudes towards immigration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)137-149
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Migration
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Aug

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Demography


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