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Attitudes toward asylum seekers that have been reported in Australia are negative and pervasive. To date, this body of literature has explored only measured explicit responses. This article is the first to explore their implicit counterpart.


Two cross‐sectional studies measured explicit and implicit attitudes towards asylum seekers. The first study used a community sample (N = 183, M age = 24.98 years, 115 females), and the second used a sample of students (N = 106, M age = 22.75 years, 87 female). The sample in Study 2 also responded to scales measuring levels of ideological orientations toward social dominance orientation (SDO), right‐wing authoritarianism (RWA), and principle of social justice.


In Study 1, an exploration of demographic variables revealed that gender predicted explicit attitudes, but gender and religious affiliation predicted implicit attitudes. In Study 2, an exploration of ideological variables revealed that higher levels of SDO and RWA predict negative explicit attitudes, and macrojustice principles predict positive explicit attitudes, but only SDO predicts (negative) implicit attitudes.


The evidence presented reveals some discrepancies between factors that predict explicit and implicit attitudes toward this socially vulnerable group, and the findings are interpreted as evidence for a dual‐construct model of attitudes toward asylum seekers.


School of Psychology

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Open Access Journal Article

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Open Access