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Article

The role of personal values and basic traits in perceptions of the consequences of immigration: A three nation study

British Journal of Psychology. 2012. Vol. 103. No. 3. P. 359-377.
Schwartz S., Vecchione M., Caprara G. V., Schoen H., Gonsales Castro J.

Using data from Italy, Spain, and Germany (N = 1,569), this study investigated the role of basic values (universalism and security) and basic traits (openness and agreeableness) in predicting perceptions of the consequences of immigration. In line with Schwartz’s (1992) theory, we conceptualized security as having two distinct components, one concerned with safety of the self (personal security) and the other with harmony and stability of larger groups and of society (group security). Structural equation modeling revealed that universalism values underlie perceptions that immigration has positive consequences and group security values underlie perceptions that it has negative consequences. Personal security makes no unique, additional contribution. Multi-group analyses revealed that these associations are invariant across the three countries except for a stronger link between universalism and perceptions of the consequences of immigration in Spain. To examine whether values mediate relations of traits to perceptions of immigration, we used the Five Factor Model. Findings supported a full mediation model. Individuals’ traits of openness and agreeableness explained significant variance in security and universalism values. Basic values, in turn, explained perceptions of the consequences of immigration.