The implications of threat for blind and constructive patriots and immigration attitudes

Cynthia Willis Esqueda, Madeline J. Schlosser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Immigration attitudes are influenced by types of patriotism and the perceived threat that immigrants pose. Previous research indicated realistic and symbolic threat mediates the relationships between blind and constructive patriotism types and anti-immigration attitudes in different ways. In two studies, the purpose was to replicate the mediating role of realistic and symbolic threat for the relationship between patriotism types and anti-immigration attitudes, and to determine if inducing threat in constructive patriots would result in immigration attitudes like that of blind patriots. In both studies, hypotheses were confirmed. Blind patriotism predicts realistic threat, symbolic threat, and anti-immigration attitudes. Realistic and symbolic threats provided moderated mediation between blind patriotism and anti-immigration attitudes. Constructive patriotism negatively predicts anti-immigration attitudes, but realistic and symbolic threats provide complete mediation for this relationship. The introduction of threatening information on future demographic changes had no impact on the relationship between blind patriotism, realistic and symbolic threats, and anti-immigration attitude. However, the introduction of demographic threat modified the relationship for constructive patriots, leaving no predictive negative relationship with realistic threat, symbolic threat, or anti-immigration attitude. The findings are important for understanding ethnic threat and the motivations to oppose immigrants in a changing United States.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)850-860
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Applied Social Psychology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology


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