Fostering Pro-Refugee Attitudes

(With Jens Hainmuller and Dominik Hangartner)

Public opinion in Europe toward refugees is sharply divided. Even high school students routinely express prejudice toward individuals seeking political asylum. In this project, we use an educational behavior change campaign to test which theories of prejudice reduction work best in countering negative attitudes toward refugees. The campaign is scheduled to take place in up to flucht50 Berlin schools, and assigns students to three different experimental arms. In the first arm, students are put in contact with refugees by facilitating a 2 hour long dialogue. In the second arm, students are asked to attend workshops where they are asked to brainstorm ideas on how to help with the integration of refugees. In the third arm, students are educated about the recent influx of refugees, and the political process of seeking asylum. We track student attitudes toward migrants and refugees right before the intervention and 2 weeks after in order to assess which strategy-contact, empathy, or information-work best in reducing prejudice.