The polarizing impact of numeracy, economic literacy, and science literacy on attitudes toward immigration

11/04/2020 ∙ by Lucia Savadori, et al. ∙ 0

Political orientation polarizes the attitudes of more educated individuals on controversial issues. A highly controversial issue in Europe is immigration. We found the same polarizing pattern for opinion toward immigration in a representative sample of citizens of a southern European middle-size city. Citizens with higher numeracy, scientific and economic literacy presented a more polarized view of immigration, depending on their worldview orientation. Highly knowledgeable individuals endorsing an egalitarian-communitarian worldview were more in favor of immigration, whereas highly knowledgeable individuals with a hierarchical-individualist worldview were less in favor of immigration. Those low in numerical, economic, and scientific literacy did not show a polarized attitude. Results highlight the central role of socio-political orientation over information theories in shaping attitudes toward immigration.

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