Speaker: Lee Peiwei
Title: Conditional love: Singaporeans’ pursuit of basic psychological needs satisfaction influences attitudes towards immigrants
Date: Friday 17 March, 1-2 pm
Venue: AS4/02-08 (Psychology Department Meeting Room)
Increasing xenophobia among Singaporeans is becoming a pressing concern. The current research, consisting of two studies, uses both Integrated Threat and Basic Psychological Needs Theory to understand what fuels Singaporeans’ attitudes towards immigrants. In both studies, participants rated the extent to which immigrants are seen as (i) realistic and symbolic threats (i.e., intergroup threats), (ii) instrumental to their need for autonomy, relatedness, and competency, and (iii) warm and competent (i.e., attitudes towards immigrants). Study 1, which utilised a sample of undergraduates, suggested that immigrants’ instrumentality to locals’ basic needs predicted attitudes towards immigrants, above and beyond perceived intergroup threats. Intergroup threats also mediated the relationship between perceived instrumentality of immigrants and locals’ attitudes towards immigrants. Similar results were obtained in Study 2, where participants were recruited from the general Singapore population.
Lee Peiwei is a psychology major who is enrolled in the Concurrent Degree Programme. Together with Dr Jia Lile, her thesis explores what motivates attitudes towards immigrants in Singapore.