Generalized Trust and Attitudes Toward Refugees in Portugal and Spain

  • Alfonso Serrano-MailloEmail author


Several studies have found a relationship between trust and attitudes toward immigrants and refugees. Following Uslaner and others, we make a distinction between different kinds of trust and reject the idea that it must be analyzed solely as an element of social capital. It is predicted that generalized trust or trust in people who are different from us is a predictor of attitudes toward refugees. Generalized trust (as well as racist values) is established early in life. It is expected that variables that do not depend on experience will be better predictors of attitudes toward refugees than those that are influenced by experience. We explore these hypotheses with data from Portugal and Spain collected in the frame of the seventh wave of the European Social Survey. Regional particularities than can be masked in studies with heterogeneous samples can make a difference in the explanation of attitudes. Data analyses rely on standard regression tools.


Attitudes toward refugees Generalized trust Institutional trust Experience-based factors Racist values 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Criminal Law and CriminologyNational Distance Education University/UNEDMadridSpain

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