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'Tell me what I want to hear': Motivated recall and attributions in media regarding asylum seekers

Croston, J. and Pedersen, A. (2013) 'Tell me what I want to hear': Motivated recall and attributions in media regarding asylum seekers. Australian Journal of Psychology, 65 (2). pp. 124-133.

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Within Australia, divisive debates regarding the processing of asylum seekers have delivered increasing polarisation rather than convergence on an evidence-based, humane approach. In order to investigate the role of motivated reasoning (the idea that our judgment is based on our motivations) with respect to attributions of warmth and competence, 186 participants indicated the extent to which they accepted false beliefs regarding asylum seekers. They read an article rebutting such false beliefs and then reported their attitudes towards the author and the extent to which the author possessed warmth and competence traits. They then reported whether they agreed with the information in the article before completing a test of recall. Participants who disagreed with the article recalled less accurate information and rated authors significantly lower on warmth and competence. These findings suggest that motivated reasoning plays an important role in the way stereotypes are applied and in the way information is processed.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Psychology
Publisher: Australian Psychological Society
Copyright: The Australian Psychological Society Ltd
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