The purpose of the current research is to explore how mode of identification (glorification versus attachment) results in either schadenfreude “with a bad conscience” (S-BC) about disadvantaged people, or prosocial emotional responses (sympathy and guilt) towards them through appraisals of entitlement, realistic threat, and blame. These relationships were investigated amongst Australians (N = 213) and Romanians (N = 210) in relation to the treatment of asylum seekers in detention centres in those two countries. Consistent with hypotheses, Australian glorifying identifiers considered asylum seekers to be a threat to well-being and to not be entitled to seek asylum. Asylum seekers were therefore blamed for their situation in detention centres and this enhanced group-based S-BC. Very different findings were observed for attached identifiers who expressed group-based sympathy and guilt towards asylum seekers. Similar pathways were observed in the Romanian sample except for the role of entitlement. Moreover, S-BC and related constructs were relatively strong in the Australian sample. The findings are important because they point to the foundations of group-based S-BC. Findings are discussed in relation to the current scale of the global refugee crisis.
- asylum seekers
- national identification