Not all negative: Macro justice principles predict positive attitudes towards asylum seekers in Australia

J.R. Anderson, A. Stuart, Izzy Rossen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

20 Citations (Scopus)


© 2015 Australian Psychological Society. Objective: Public opinion towards asylum seekers within Australia has become increasingly hostile over the past decade. In particular, such negative attitudes are associated with questioning the legitimacy of those who seek asylum and the fairness of granting their refugee status. The major aim of this paper is to test the role of macro and micro principles of social justice in predicting attitudes towards asylum seekers, beyond the established role of social dominance orientation (SDO) and right-wing authoritarianism (RWA). Method: A sample of 100 students (Mage = 22.83 years, SDage = 8.26 years) responded to measures of macro and micro principles of social justice, SDO, RWA, and a measure of Attitudes Towards Asylum Seekers. Results: Using multiple hierarchical regression analyses, we show that macro justice social principles (i.e., the belief in equal distribution of resources across a society) predict positive attitudes towards asylum seekers beyond the variation accounted for by SDO and RWA in predicting negative attitudes. Conclusions: These results underscore the importance of taking into account individual orientations towards justice; we argue that these findings have important implications for the development of communication designed to reduce prejudice towards asylum seekers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)207-213
JournalAustralian Journal of Psychology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2015


Cite this