RESEARCH PAPER
When out-groups are perceived as out of place: urban disorder sensitivity and environmental distance
 
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Institute of Psychology, University of Gdańsk, Gdansk, Poland
Submission date: 2021-04-29
Final revision date: 2021-09-20
Acceptance date: 2021-09-23
Online publication date: 2021-12-10
Publication date: 2022-11-21
 
Current Issues in Personality Psychology 2022;10(2):123–134
 
KEYWORDS
TOPICS
ABSTRACT
Introduction:
These studies aimed to determine whether a stronger preference for order, structure, and predictability in the urban environment (measured by the Space Intrusion subscale of the Urban Socio-Spatial Disorder Sensitivity Scale) and a higher score on the Out-Group Visual Encroachment scale are associated with more aversive reactions towards the idea of people of another race, ethnicity, or religion settling in the neighborhood.

Material and methods:
Participants were recruited through online snowball sampling (pilot study) as well as from among university students. Students were also asked to send links to the study to their acquaintances. The pilot study, as well as Study 1B, were conducted online, whereas in Study 1A the paper-pencil method was used.

Results:
Scores on the Space Intrusion subscale and the Out-group Visual Encroachment scale were associated with outgroup negativity. Out-group Visual Encroachment was found to mediate the relationship between Space Intrusion and environmental distance toward Muslims.

Conclusions:
Perceiving out-groups as out of place is a joint product of environmental features (visual cues of belonging) and characteristics of the individual (sensitivity to urban disorder). The challenge for neighborhoods in times of increased migration is how to shape the public domain to increase the chances of strangers becoming more familiar.

 
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