Date of Award

2010

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts Honours

School

School of Psychology and Social Sciences

Faculty

Faculty of Computing, Health and Science

First Advisor

Dr Justine Dandy

Abstract

This study examined the relationship between intergroup threat and negative attitudes among Anglo-Australians (N = 11 0) toward international students. The Integrated Threat Theory (ITT) was reviewed and four types of threat were discussed that have been shown to be influential determinants of negative attitudes, namely: realistic threat, symbolic threat, intergroup anxiety and negative stereotypes. In addition, the importance of intergroup contact as a separate predictor of attitudes was investigated. Results provided partial support for the ITT, identifying only two threats as significant and unique predictors of attitudes toward international students. Consistent with the hypothesis, realistic threat was significantly and negatively associated with attitudes, however, contrary to the hypothesis symbolic threat failed to account for any significant proportion of variance in attitudes. Negative stereotype also emerged as a strong predictor of attitudes toward international students. Unlike hypothesised, intergroup contact did not reveal a direct association with negative attitudes, however it was suggested that its relationship with attitudes might be indirect, via threats. The findings are discussed in terms of practical implications for policy, media and community organisations.

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