Date of Degree

9-2017

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph.D.

Program

Criminal Justice

Advisor

Maureen O'Connor

Committee Members

Diana Gordon

Monica Varsanyi

Subject Categories

Criminal Law | Immigration Law | Law and Politics | Law and Psychology | Social Psychology

Keywords

Immigration Policy, Bias, Social Dominance Orientation, Right Wing Authoritarian, Attitudes

Abstract

The present study was a test and extension of the Dual Process Model of bias on attitudes toward immigrants and immigration policy in the United States. The Dual Process Model predicts that people who score higher on either the Social Dominance Orientation scale or the Right Wing Authoritarian scale will hold more negative attitudes toward immigrants, particularly if immigrants are viewed as a threat. A sample of 315 participants from across the United States was recruited using Amazon’s M Turk site. This study used a combination of attitudinal measures, policy scales, and experimental vignettes. The study found that the Dual Process Model can both predict which participants will hold anti-immigration attitudes and which participants support more restrictive immigration policy. This study also found that the Dual Process Model was better at predicting which participants will hold anti-immigration attitudes than it was at predicting which participants will support restrictionist policy. Furthermore, evidence of the double additive effect of the Dual Process Model was found. The types of threats people high on the Social Dominance Orientation scale are sensitive to are the same for people high on the Right Wing Authoritarian scale and vice versa. Finally, this study showed the reliability of the Dual Process Model to predict attitudes and policy choices across different dependent measures.

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