Populists have abused the influx of refugees into Europe since 2015 to stir up resentments against the arriving people. This symposium will address the question what social psychology can contribute to prevent radicalization by reducing prejudice and skepticism among local inhabitants. Every single contribution presents its own view on how to facilitate successful integration of refugees into Western societies in general and into the German society in particular. Thereby, the talks identify the following opportunities to ensure peaceful coexistence. Subjective evaluations of “how many refugees can Germany handle” may largely depend on the type of threat perceived by the locals (Talk 1). Negative attitudes towards refugee integration may decrease when making salient the non-malleability of groups in general and value differences between locals and refugees (Talk 2). Highly prejudiced people can be persuaded to trust asylum seekers when receiving messages that negate initial stereotypes about the outgroup (Talk 3). Among people holding negative attitudes towards refugees, contact intentions can be increased and endorsement of violence against refugees can be reduced through a paradoxical leading questions intervention (Talk 4). Direct contact with asylum seekers not only influences the attitude towards this specific group, but also towards other ethnic minorities in Germany (Talk 5). All these contributions together encompass a wide range of methodological approaches ranging from lab experiments to longitudinal field-studies and offer several possibilities for practical application (e.g., in politics and social work). A discussant will integrate the findings in terms of transferability from lab to practice. In other words, the focus of the discussant's contribution lies on how the research presented in this symposium can stimulate public and political discourse as well as concrete policies.
Why do you think Christmas will never ever be celebrated again? A paradoxical leading questions intervention as an opportunity to support conflict-reducing cognition and action tendencies towards refugees
Nadine Knab | Universität Koblenz-Landau
Did the ‘migration crisis’ affect evaluations of unrelated minorities? Attitudes towards ethnic minorities as a function of intergroup contact with asylum seekers in the neighbourhood of a newly set up initial reception centre
Patrick F. Kotzur | Universität Osnabrück