26/10/2022 – UNU-MERIT/MACIMIDE Seminar on “Does credibility beat anxiety? The mediating impact in migration information campaigns: Evidence from a field experiment”


A novel European policy concerning irregular migration is the implementation of information campaigns in popular sending countries. Recent literature suggests a certain effectiveness of these campaigns, revealing that triggering anxiety in the target audience enhances the impact of the information provided. This presentation challenges these findings by focusing on the role of a more moral mediator: the perceived credibility of the information’s sender. Building on dual-process theories of information processing, I expect that the mediator’s anxiety and credibility enhance the impact of information provision on awareness raising and attitude formation but through different mechanisms, so they may strategically replace one another. Disentangling the independent and interdependent effects, I implemented an experimental implicit mediation design with two randomized treatments in a real political information campaign targeting 2,500 Nigerian students. The results support the expectations. The absence of an additional effect for joint implementation of both mediators suggests a tactical replaceability. This causal field evidence contributes to understanding the different mechanisms of information processing in campaign settings.

About the speaker
Dr. Sandra Morgenstern is a postdoctoral researcher at the Mannheim Centre for European Social Research (MZES) and at the chair of Migration and Integration at the University of Mannheim. Her research interest concentrates on migration research with a special focus on migration politics, the emigration decision making, gender, and xenophobia. Methodologically, Dr. Morgenstern is dedicated to field research, experiments, causal inference, and quantitative research methods in general. She earned her Ph.D. (Dr. rer. soc) from the University of Konstanz, where she was part of the Graduate School of Decision Sciences and the Comparative Politics Research Group.


Practical information:
Wednesday, October 26, from 15.00-16.00 CET
For more information click here.