Threat Perception and Modern Racism as Possible Predictors of Attitudes towards Asylum Seekers: Comparative Findings from Austria, Germany, and Slovakia


  • Walter Renner Pan European University, Bratislava (Slovak Republic) and Sigmund Freud University, Vienna (Austria)
  • Almut Thomas
  • Marina Mikulajová
  • Denisa Newman



Asylum Seekers, Attitudes, European Union


Autochthon Europeans reacted inconsistently to rising numbers of asylum applications in 2015 and 2016. While some of them welcomed asylum seekers enthusiastically, others reacted with hostility. The objective of this study was to test a predictive model of these individual differences by Structural Equation Modeling (SEM). Both, in a German-speaking (N = 349 Austrians and Germans) and in a Slovak (N = 307) adult sample, the perception of "cultural threat" was a strong predictor of attitudes towards asylum seekers, whereas perceived "economic threat" and "modern racism" did not explain additional proportions of the variance.

Author Biography

Walter Renner, Pan European University, Bratislava (Slovak Republic) and Sigmund Freud University, Vienna (Austria)

Professor, Faculty of Psychology, Pan European University, Bratislava (Slovak Republic)


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