DOI: 10.3390/bs14030232 ISSN: 2076-328X

Attitudes Formation toward Minority Outgroups in Times of Global Crisis—The Role of Good and Bad Digital News Consumption

Nonna Kushnirovich, Sabina Lissitsa
  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • General Psychology
  • Genetics
  • Development
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics

This paper examines the relationships between the consumption of ‘bad’ or ‘good’ digital economic news and attitudes toward immigrant and ethnic minorities during the crisis that developed during the COVID-19 pandemic. The study considered attitudes toward two minority groups in Israel: immigrant citizens from English-speaking countries, and Israeli Palestinian citizens, an ethnic minority. The data were collected through an online survey of 866 respondents, who were members of the majority population group. The study found that, during the global crisis, exposure to bad digital news was associated with more positive attitudes toward both disadvantaged and non-disadvantaged minority groups. Moreover, in times of global crisis, people focused mostly on local rather than global digital news. In contrast to the idea of Intergroup Threat Theory, the study revealed that feelings of economic threat during the global crisis engendered higher cohesion between different population groups, and more positive attitudes toward minorities. In times of crisis, bad news for the economy brings good news for social solidarity—people tend to rally around the flag; this phenomenon even occurs between groups engaged in years-long, protracted conflict.

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