The affective nexus between refugees and terrorism: A panel study on how social media use shapes negative attitudes toward refugees

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Social media, as an important resource of information for many contentious topics, has great affective potential in terms of anger and fear. We investigated how exposure to news about refugees on social media is related to negative attitudes toward refugees as well as attitudinal differentiation with respect to Muslims and terrorists. A two-wave panel survey (N T2 = 524) showed that social media use about refugees was not directly related to negative attitudes and attitudinal differentiation. However, we found that anger served as the affective nexus between the refugee topic and the terrorism topic: Social media use about refugees led to more anger about terrorism over time, which in turn led to more negative attitudes toward refugees. Fear with respect to terrorism did not play a role in this process. Overall, our findings underline the key role of anger, but not fear, when trying to understand negative reactions toward refugees.

FachzeitschriftPolitical Psychology
Frühes Online-Datum25 Dez. 2023
PublikationsstatusElektronische Veröffentlichung vor Drucklegung - 25 Dez. 2023

ÖFOS 2012

  • 508007 Kommunikationswissenschaft