Universiteit Leiden

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Research project

"Putting Yourself in Their Shoes”: Fostering Positive Attitudes Towards Venezuelan Migrants Among the Youth in Ecuador

Does “putting yourself in the migrant’s shoes” elicit more positive attitudes toward migration? Can perspective-taking – the active consideration of others’ mental states and subjective experiences – help undermine negative stereotypes and prejudice against migrants? We explore these questions in Ecuador, the third-largest receiver of Venezuelans in the current migration crisis.

2021 - 2023
Leila Demarest
Evidence in Governance and Politics (EGAP)

Katharina Natter, (Leiden University), Juan Masullo J. (Leiden University), Diana Davila Gordillo (Lake Forest College, USA), Paolo Moncagatta (Universidad San Francisco de Quito, Ecuador)

Venezuelans in Ecuador, like in most other Latin American countries, have been subject to widespread xenophobia and criminalization. Through Computer-Assisted Self-Interview surveys of final-year secondary school students, this study experimentally assesses the effect of an intervention aimed at eliciting empathy with Venezuelan immigrants and fostering more positive attitudes towards them. Our main intervention consists of a short comic in which a migrant is subjected to discrimination. We vary the nationality of the migrant (i.e., Ecuadorian, Venezuelan, Thai) as well as the gender (male/female) to examine whether closer similarity of a respondent with the comic protagonist affects the impact of the comic on reported attitudes towards Venezuelan migrants.

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