Seminar: Gerald Echterhoff – Towards a Psychology of Refugee Integration
Link to online seminar below
Towards a Psychology of Refugee Integration
The successful management of refugee immigration, including the inclusion or “integration” of refugees in receiving societies, requires a sound understanding of underlying psychological processes. I will present a model of the Psychological Antecedents of Refugee Integration (PARI), developed in collaboration with colleagues from different fields of psychology (Echterhoff et al., 2020, PPS). We argue that forcedness (i.e., coercion by “push” factors) and ensuing perils of migration (risks and potential or actual harm) are distinctive factors of refugee migration. According to the PARI model, experiences and perceptions of forcedness and related perils trigger specific psychological mechanisms (e.g., loss of control) that affect integration-relevant responses to immigration-related demands and stressors. PARI generates novel and specific hypotheses about psychological processes predicting relevant to integration outcomes for both refugees and residents of the receiving society. For instance, refugees’ experiences of forcedness and perils should lead to a preoccupation with the restoration of basic needs (e.g., control needs) after arrival in a host country, which interferes with integration-related activities. Also, perils encountered during migration may attenuate regret about having migrated when perceived forcedness is high (vs. low). Regarding residents’ responses, residents’ perceptions of refugees’ forcedness and perils may enhance empathic concern, but may also promote patronizing expectations of gratitude by refugees. I will present relevant findings and discuss implications for practice and policy-making.
Gerald Echterhoff is Professor of Social Psychology at the Department of Psychology of the University of Münster (Germany). He is a fellow of the Academy of Sciences and Arts in the federal state (Northrhine-Westphalia), based in Düsseldorf. Before joining the University of Münster, he was affiliated to Bielefeld University, the University of Cologne and Bremen University. Prof. Echterhoff does research in Social Psychology and Cognitive Psychology, specifically on social influence, shared reality, communication effects on cognition, social exclusion, and interpersonal and intergroup relations. His recent work focuses on the psychology of forced migration and refugee integration. His work appeared in many internationally renowned journals such as Annual Review of Psychology, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, European Review of Social Psychology.
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