Hacking negative immigration attitudes and stereotypes: a randomized intervention in high-schools in Italy
Giovedì 14 dicembre appuntamento con il Brow Bag Seminar di Sara Giunti.
Abstract in lingua inglese:
Major demographic shifts and global changes have contributed to the increasing diversity in the composition of the Italian population but have also been accompanied by hostile attitudes towards immigrants, motivated by stereotypes and prejudices. We explore the role of an innovative educational program in reshaping attitudes toward immigrants and cultural diversity among youth. The program is based on ‘active learning’ and perspective-taking activities and involves nearly 4,500 students enrolled in 252 classes, located across 40 schools in Milan and Genoa. We evaluate the program through a randomized control trial and find that the intervention led to more positive attitudes towards immigrants, and made students more generous towards immigrants, as captured through an incentivised ultimatum game. Yet, we find no effects on implicit bias (as captured through an Implicit Association Test). Our findings suggest that the program worked by improving students’ knowledge of immigration in Italy and that salience played an important role, as effects were larger in classes with more foreign students.