Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology
As globalization advances, immigration has increasingly been contested. Psychological studies of immigration, which are frequently conducted in Western contexts, have established a link between attitudes toward immigrants and individual values. In two studies, the present research investigates this link between values and favorability toward immigrants in an Asian nation with a high proportion of immigrants, Singapore, and considers differences in cultural ideologies and multicultural acquisition, based on the assumption that cultural ideologies and multicultural acquisition share broader underlying motivations with self-transcendence (growth and anxiety-free) and conservation values (protection and anxiety-avoidance). In Study 1, the cultural ideologies of multiculturalism and color blindness, as reified in the Singapore context, explained how self-transcendence and conservation values predict willingness to interact with immigrants. Greater support for multiculturalism mediated the positive relationship between self-transcendence values and favorability toward immigrants. Lower support for color blindness mediated the negative relationship between conservation values and favorability toward immigrants. In Study 2, experimentally induced self-transcendence and conservation values interacted with multicultural acquisition to affect willingness to interact with immigrants. Self-transcendence increased favorability toward immigrants for people with greater multicultural acquisition. Conservation decreased favorability toward immigrants for people with less multicultural acquisition. This research has implications for demonstrating that the cultural context matters for addressing how and among whom to improve intercultural contact in diverse, globalized societies.