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Sylvie Graf and Sabine Sczesny from the Institute of Psychology at the University of Bern are investigating how positivity or negativity of news about immigrants and language that describes immigrants in mass media shape prejudice against them. Their project, "Immigrants in the Media," is funded by the European Commission. The psychologists recently published the results of three experimental studies in the journal Media Psychology.
In the studies, the researchers examined prejudice against two negatively perceived groups—the Roma and Kosovo Albanians—and one positively perceived group—Italian immigrants. The studies were carried out in different cultural contexts—namely the Czech Republic and Switzerland. Participants in the studies read fictitious newspaper reports that described either positive (e.g., helping), negative (e.g., attacking), or mixed (e.g., helping and attacking) behaviours of immigrants. Across the studies, prejudice against the given minority group changed after having read a single report about the acts of its members. "Positive reports led to less pronounced prejudice, while negative reports led to more pronounced prejudice against the described minority group," explains Sylvie Graf. Interestingly, mixed reports that contained both positive and negative information also reduced prejudice—like the positive reports. "This suggests that including positive information into negative news may...
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I find it extremely funny when people keep voting and expecting the government to change!