English title: How Many Immigrants? Foreign-Born Population Innumeracy in Europe

Author(s): Daniel Herda -

Language: English

Type: Journal article

Year: 2010


Individuals frequently perceive immigrant and minority population sizes to be much larger than they are in reality. To date, little is understood about the extent or causes of this phenomenon, known as innumeracy, which may have consequences for inter-group relations. However, before the literature can assess these consequences, a better understanding of the development of these misperceptions is needed. The extant literature focuses only on the United States and lacks a clear understanding of how innumeracy arises. Drawing from the 2002 European Social Survey (ESS), this study attempts to make sense of this phenomenon by proposing and testing a framework that views innumeracy among majority group members as developing in two ways: as 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 socio-economic status, and find independent associations with cognitive and emotional factors using multi-level regression analyses.

Volume: 74

Issue: 4

From page no: 674

To page no: 695

Refereed: Yes

DOI: 10.1093/POQ/NFQ013

Journal: Public Opinion Quarterly

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