Framing Unauthorized Immigrants: The Effect of Labels on Evaluations

R. Ommundsen, C.G. van der Veer, K.S. Larsen, D.E. Eilertsen

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

In the U.S. media, unauthorized immigrants are often interchangeably referred to as "illegal aliens," "illegal immigrants," and undocumented immigrants." In spite of formal equivalence, these terms carry different connotations, but the effects of these labels on people's attitudes toward immigrants are not well documented. In this replication study, 274 undergraduate students in psychology responded to one of three randomly distributed versions of a 20-item scale measuring attitudes toward unauthorized immigration. The items in the three scale versions varyingly referred to immigrants using the three terms. Results showed differences in attitudes toward unauthorized immigration between all experimental conditions. The label "illegal immigrants" yielded significantly less positive attitudes compared to the label "undocumented immigrants," and respondents exposed to the label "illegal aliens" showed the most positive attitudes. Furthermore, the effects of the experimental conditions were not moderated by the respondents' patriotism, sex, or own immigrant background. © Psychological Reports 2014.
LanguageEnglish
Pages1-18
Number of pages19
JournalPsychological Reports
Volume114
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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Emigration and Immigration
Undocumented Immigrants
Students
Psychology
Surveys and Questionnaires

Cite this

Ommundsen, R. ; van der Veer, C.G. ; Larsen, K.S. ; Eilertsen, D.E. / Framing Unauthorized Immigrants: The Effect of Labels on Evaluations. In: Psychological Reports. 2014 ; Vol. 114, No. 2. pp. 1-18.
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Framing Unauthorized Immigrants: The Effect of Labels on Evaluations. / Ommundsen, R.; van der Veer, C.G.; Larsen, K.S.; Eilertsen, D.E.

In: Psychological Reports, Vol. 114, No. 2, 2014, p. 1-18.

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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