Differential Group Threat Theory

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The differential group threat explanation predicts that people will hold negative attitudes toward immigrants with similar educational backgrounds to them because they are competing with these immigrants for resources, such as jobs. Because values form the basis for attitudes, we hypothesize that this explanation is not only restricted to attitudes but also extends to values relating to these attitudes, such as tolerance and power. In a quasi-experiment among Dutch workers, we are going to assess their educational background and expose them to a written scenario that describes an influx of desirable foreign workers. Depending on the condition, these immigrants are depicted as being either high or lowly educated. Afterwards, participants fill…show more content…
Although Kuppens et al. (in press) already challenged Hainmueller and Hiscox’s (2010) conclusion that lowly educated people have generally more negative attitudes toward immigrants than their higher educated counterparts, their finding that highly educated individuals place more value on tolerance and cultural diversity is not yet addressed. We are going to fill this gap and hypothesize that - because values tend to cause attitudes (Schwartz, 2012) - not only negative attitudes toward immigrants are a function of concerns about labor-market competition, but also the endorsement of values that favor immigration (figure…show more content…
Implicit measures prevent motivated responses (Devine, 1989; Gilbert & Hixon, 1991) and answers based on ideology and beliefs (Kuppens & Spears, 2014). We argue that asking participants to give spontaneous answers is a compromise between an explicit and implicit measure that merely aggravates deliberate answering. Specifically, implicit approaches hinder participants from aligning their responses with how they want to perceive themselves and how they want to be perceived by others (Gaertner & Dovidio, 1986; Kuppens & Spears, 2014). Because individuals are motivated to retain their values (Kahan, 2013), value change might be more likely to be observed on implicit (rather than explicit) measures. In addition, due to the affect-laden and sometimes unconscious nature of values (Schwartz, 2012), relatively implicit measures should provide sensible methods to assess them. On the other hand, Krosch et al. (in press) have shown that individuals tend to respond to resource scarcity in strategic, deliberate ways so that our measure should still allow for somewhat controlled
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