Risk Propensity, News Frames and Immigration Attitudes

Anita Gottlob, Hajo Boomgaarden


Migration has become increasingly discussed as intangible and uncontrollable and hence as a risk to receiving societies. In the past years, strong public concern and negative attitudes toward immigration have been seen across European countries. The mass media are oftentimes suggested to contribute to such concerns. But mediated risks of immigration do not affect all citizens to an equal extent. This study considers the relationship between information about migration as found in mass media and immigration attitudes as a function of individuals’ risk propensity. Our results suggest that tangible risk frames have an effect on immigration attitudes, while abstract risks do not. Tangible risks are statistically not likely to be personally experienced by most people. Yet, they are often framed as having the potential to negatively impact a person’s community or well-being. Risk propensity played no role in moderating such effects.


immigration attitudes, risk propensity, framing effects, issue attributes

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