Emotions, perceived threat, prejudice, and attitudes towards helping Ukrainian, Syrian, and Somali asylum seekers

Europe receives thousands of asylum seekers. This study examined whether European participants distinguish between European, Middle Eastern, and African asylum seekers in relation to positive and negative emotions, perceived threat, prejudice, and attitudes towards helping. The study also examined how these variables interrelate to influence each other. 287 participants were recruited from the UK and Malta.


The study found that higher positive emotions and attitudes towards helping, and lower negative emotions, classical prejudice, and conditional prejudice were reported in relation to Ukrainian than Syrian or Somali asylum seekers. A mediation analysis was conducted to examine the interrelationship of these variables. Emotions and perceived threat had an indirect effect on attitudes towards helping, via prejudice. The effect of perceived threat was stronger than that of emotions. The study suggests that to improve people’s openness towards helping asylum seekers, it is necessary to reduce the perception that asylum seekers are threatening.

Sharon Xuereb | 2023
In: PLoS ONE ; ISSN: 1932-6203 | 18 | 9 | September | e0290335
Asylum Seekers, Cultural Values, Emotional States, Empathy, Identity, Migrants, Refugees, Research, Somalis, Syrians, Ukrainians