Barbara Kalebic Maglica

The role of personality traits and contact in explaining threat perception toward migrants

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The topic of the migrant crisis in Europe is widely discussed. Since the results of various studies show that attitudes toward migrants are negative, this study aims to examine the personal (personality traits) and situational (contact) determinants of the perceptions of migrants as a threat. The study involved 381 participants (108 males and 273 females) in the age range 18 to 80 years. Participants completed online questionnaires related to personality traits of the Five-factor model, authoritarianism, frequency of contact with migrants, and threat perception toward migrants (perception of social threat, perception of cultural threat, and perception of health-economic threat). The results show that females and younger participants are less likely to perceive migrants as a social, cultural, and health-economic threat. Authoritarianism is a positive predictor of all three types of threat. Openness is a significant negative predictor of perception of social threat. Consciousness is a positive and extraversion is a negative predictor of the perception of health-economic threat. The results also show that people with less frequent contact with migrants have a greater perception of cultural threat. In addition, contact has been shown to moderate the relationship between authoritarianism and the perception of cultural threat, as well as the relationship between openness and the perception of health-economic threat. The obtained results support the fact that personal and situational factors need to be included in the examination of threat perception toward migrants


  • migrants
  • threat perception
  • Five-factor personality traits
  • authoritarianism
  • contact


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