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Title: The Role of False Beliefs in the Community's and the Federal Government's Attitude to Australian Asylum Seekers
Contributor(s): Pedersen, A (author); Watt, SE (author)orcid ; Hansen, S (author)
Publication Date: 2006
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Abstract: Previous quantitative research has found that people who report negative attitudes toward asylum seekers also tend to report the acceptance of information that is factually incorrect (negative 'false beliefs'). In the present study, we were interested in matching spontaneously generated false beliefs with negative attitudes toward asylum seekers, and in examining the presence of such beliefs in politicians' public statements.To do this, we analysed qualitative data collected from 602 WesternAustralian participants. Three false beliefs were frequently cited ('boat people are queue jumpers', 'asylum seekers are illegal' and 'people who arrive unauthorised are not genuine refugees'). As predicted, the total number of false beliefs significantly correlated with negative attitudes.The same beliefs were also identified in statements made by FederalGovernment representatives. Our results have important practicalimplications. If false beliefs about asylum seekers can be identified and corrected, this may have a significant effect on changing these attitudes in a positive direction.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Australian Journal of Social Issues, 41(1), p. 105-124
Publisher: Australian Council of Social Service
Place of Publication: Australia
ISSN: 0157-6321
Field of Research (FOR): 170113 Social and Community Psychology
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
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