Attitudes to Irregular Immigration

In order to compare such attitudes we developed a robust cross-national tool to measure attitudes to what is often referred to in the Norwegian media as “illegal immigration”.

Although the instrument is developed by student selection, the results show a pattern in these attitudes which corresponds with what is also found in other student selections (amongst others Holland, Denmark, USA) together with a representative national selection in New Zealand, but not in “sending countries” such as Vietnam or Bulgaria.


In other investigations we have sought experimentally to affect attitudes to immigrants by getting (inducing) subjects to think from a “supra-national” (common in-group identity) or a more limited “national” mindset. The results show surprisingly that the first mentioned mindset can lead to less goodwill, perhaps out of fear that one’s own national identity can be erased in a supranational context.


We have in addition performed experiments in the USA and Norway to see if different descriptions of irregular immigrants affect people’s attitudes in positive or more negative directions. The results show that this can be the case in the USA, while wider studies are needed in Norway

Published Nov. 7, 2012 12:54 PM