Fear of immigrants remains such a potent force in American life that the Republican Party is overtly relying on it in advance of the mid-term elections. But why, exactly, do so many people see a newcomer to the nation and perceive a threat?
New research suggests it’s a matter of perceived loyalty. The latest findings report that immigrants who see themselves—or are viewed as—having dual identities are less likely to be seen as people who can be depended upon if and when the country finds itself in a crunch.
“Humans are acutely attuned to the loyalty of newcomers,” writes a research team led by psychologist Jonas Kunst of Yale University and the University of Oslo. The team argues that we are instinctively attuned to “loyalty cues,” and, for many citizens, a newcomer’s dual identity sends up a red flag.
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