English title: How Many Immigrants? Foreign Born Population Innumeracy in Europe
Author(s): Daniel Herda -
Type: Report, working paper
A large body of scholarship has emerged linking minority population size to negative attitudes and anti-minority policy positions. However, this literature neglects the high levels of innumeracy found when individuals estimate minority group sizes. In the minds of survey respondents, minority groups are much larger and more numerically threatening than in reality. While research has begun to explore innumeracy’s consequences, this study argues that we must first fully understand the phenomenon. Drawing from the 2002 European Social Survey, this study proposes and tests a framework for understanding the development of innumeracy regarding immigrant populations consisting of two separate causal processes: cognitive mistakes and emotional responses. I establish the existence and extent of the phenomenon across 21 European nations, test new key predictors such as media exposure and job status and find evidence for the existence of both cognitive and emotional causes using multi-level regression analysis.
Institution: University of Californa-Davis
Number of pages: 0