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Frank Waddell, Ann Christiano and Annie Neimand Co-Author Article on Using Documentary Portrayals to Change Negative Attitudes Toward Refugees

Frank Waddell, University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications Journalism associate professor, Center for Public Interest Communications Director Ann Christiano, Center Research Director Annie Neimand, and Kelly Chernin are the co-authors of “The Effect of Documentary and Fictional Narratives on Dehumanization of Refugees and Stereotype Reversal” published in the Journal of Immigrant & Refugee Studies on April 21.

The authors examined hostile attitudes toward refugees and how individuals who hold negative beliefs toward these out-groups are the most difficult to persuade. They studied if an explicit persuasive appeal would be effective for such groups or if fictional narratives with implicit messages should be used instead.

The authors conducted an online experiment to test this possibility with three possible media-based interventions: a fictional sympathetic portrayal, a fictional hostile portrayal, or a documentary-based portrayal.

According to the authors, “Hostile portrayals increased negative attitudes toward refugees, while documentary portrayals increased positive attitudes and promoted stereotype reversal. These effects were observed regardless of nationalism or social dominance orientation.”

Posted: April 28, 2022
Category: Center for Public Interest Communications, College News
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