Not in my backyard! authoritarianism, social dominance orientation, and support for strict immigration policies at home and abroad

Maureen A. Craig, Jennifer A. Richeson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Many controversial immigration policies have recently emerged across the United States and abroad. We explore the role of national context in shaping support for such policies. Specifically, we examine whether the extent to which ideological attitudes-Right-Wing Authoritarianism (RWA) and Social Dominance Orientation (SDO)-predict policy support is moderated by the national context of the policy. Across three studies, United States citizens read about a controversial immigration policy affecting either their own country (United States) or a foreign country (Israel or Singapore) and indicated their support for the policy. Results reveal that SDO predicts policy support, regardless of its national context; this effect is mediated by perceived competition. Conversely, RWA predicts policy support only if the policy affects domestic immigration; this effect is mediated by perceptions of cultural threat. Consistent with prior research, the present findings highlight the role of perceived cultural threat to one's ingroup and perceived competition in shaping attitudes toward immigration and shed light on some of the motivations underlying the recent rise in popularity of strict immigration policies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)417-429
Number of pages13
JournalPolitical Psychology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2014



  • Ethnic exclusion
  • Immigration attitudes
  • Perceived threat
  • Right-wing authoritarianism
  • Social Dominance Orientation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Philosophy
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Political Science and International Relations

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