Adam-Troian, J and Bagci, SC (2021) The pathogen paradox: Evidence that perceived COVID-19 threat is associated with both pro- and anti-immigrant attitudes. International Review of Social Psychology, 34 (1). ISSN 2397-8570

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COVID-19 pandemic, as a global threat to humanity, is likely to instigate a variety of collective responses in the society. We examined, for the first time, whether COVID-19 threat perception is related to attitudes towards Syrian immigrants in Turkey, theorizing a dual pathway whereby threat caused by the COVID-19 pandemic would relate to both pro- and anti-immigrant feelings. While drawing upon behavioral immune system theory, we expected that pathogen threat would lead to more exclusionary attitudes; relying on the common ingroup identity model, we predicted that pathogen threat would promote inclusionary attitudes through creating a common ingroup in the face of a global threat. Results from two studies using online search volume data at the province-level (N = 81) and self-report measures at the individual level (N = 294) demonstrated that perceived COVID-19 threat was directly associated with more positive attitudes towards immigrants (Study 1 and 2). Study 2 further revealed indirect positive (through a sense of common identity) and negative (through perceptions of immigrant threat) links between COVID19 threat perception and attitudes towards immigrants. These results highlight the importance of integrating evolutionary and social identity perspectives when assessing pathogen-related threats. We draw attention to managing the public perceptions of COVID-19 threat which may mitigate
the social aftermath of the pandemic.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2021 The Author(s). This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC-BY 4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. See
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Natural Sciences > School of Psychology
Depositing User: Symplectic
Date Deposited: 20 Sep 2021 15:10
Last Modified: 17 Nov 2021 12:36

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