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Article

Values and Attitudes towards Immigrants: Cross-Cultural Differences across 25 Countries.

Ponizovskiy V.

Attitudes towards immigrants remain a relevant psychological outcome as they are related to prejudice, discrimination, and adaptation of migrants. Recent studies showed that basic human values could be used to explain considerable proportion of variance in attitudes towards immigrants and immigration. These studies reported that across cultural contexts the value dimension of self-transcendence is positively related to attitudes to migrants, and the value dimension of conservation is related negatively. In this paper I attempt to address some theoretical problems with universalistic interpretations of value-behavior relationships and propose a new method to identify culturally specific patterns of value-attitude relationships. Data from 25 countries collected in waves 5 and 6 of the European Social Survey (ESS) was used to assess feasibility of the proposed method. Accounting for cross-country variation significantly improved predictions of attitudes towards immigrants from individual values. Moreover, the proposed measure moderated the relationship between individual values and attitudes towards immigrants when tested against an independent data set. In line with past studies, the results indicate that overall, universalism (a self-transcendent value) is the most positive predictor of attitudes towards immigrants, and security (a conservation value) is the most negative. Unlike previous studies, there is no support for universality of the pattern. A theoretical explanation for cultural variation is offered.