Glorifying national identification increases schadenfreude about asylum seekers when they are a threat, not entitled to seek asylum, and blamed for their adversity

Mariette Berndsen, Emma Thomas, Craig McGarty, Ana-Maria Bliuc, Daniella Muntele Hendres

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)166-198
Number of pages33
JournalComprehensive Results in Social Psychology
Volume2
Issue number2-3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

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