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The role of perceived threat in Australians’ endorsement of asylum-seeker policies

  • Emily Pattison (a1) and Graham R. Davidson (a1)


Australia’s treatment of asylum seekers continues to polarise public debate. The present study sought to investigate the factors that may influence an individual’s endorsement of deterrence-based government policies. Using the integrated threat theory of prejudice, the present study examined the role of perceived threat in shaping Australian voters’ political attitudes toward asylum seekers. A total of 255 Australian citizens completed an online questionnaire that assessed their support for aspects of government policy and their perceptions of asylum seekers as a threat. Hierarchical multiple regression analyses were used to examine the combined and unique influences of perceived threat and sociodemographic factors on overall and individual government policy endorsement. Results indicated that various types of threat (realistic, symbolic, and negative stereotypes) were significant predictors of policy support. Practical implications regarding the development of anti-discriminatory strategies and directions for future research are discussed.

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Author for correspondence: Emily Pattison, Email:


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The role of perceived threat in Australians’ endorsement of asylum-seeker policies

  • Emily Pattison (a1) and Graham R. Davidson (a1)


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