Anti-Immigrant Prejudice in Rising East Asia: A Stereotype Content and Integrated Threat Analysis

JONATHAN E. RAMSAY AND JOYCE S. PANG
POLITICAL PSYCHOLOGY (2015). ADVANCED ONLINE PUBLICATION. DOI: 10.1111/pops.12312

Abstract: Immigration is a global phenomenon, yet comparatively few psychological investigations of anti-immigrant prejudice have been conducted in East Asia, a region of high economic growth that is set to become a leading destination for international migrants. Over two studies, we examined Singaporean attitudes towards four prominent immigrant groups: Chinese, Filipino, South Asian, and Western immigrants. Each immigrant group was found to be associated with a unique attitudinal profile. Chinese immigrants, who are culturally the most closely related to most Singaporeans, were viewed the most negatively in terms of prejudice, stereotyped warmth, and realistic and symbolic threat. Westerners were viewed the most positively despite higher ratings of perceived competence, possibly due to Western cultural influence, whereas South Asians and Filipinos were viewed as being relatively unthreatening, possibly due to their occupation of undesirable social roles. Perceived threat—both realistic and symbolic—proved to be stronger predictors of anti-immigrant prejudice than stereotypes. Implications for immigration policy in the region are discussed.