The Association between Perceived and Actual Xenophobia (APAX)


This project examines the so far obscure connection between perceived and actual xenophobia and discrimination empirically with the help of online trust games with non-hypothetical vignettes. One of the Enigmata, the investigations on perceived xenophobia raised the counterintuitive finding is that better integrated people with a migration background are particularly discriminated against, but is this true? According to one possible explanation, their acculturation allows them to experience the full extent to record discrimination to which they are actually exposed. In order to investigate these questions and allegations in a meaningful way we need data about a) the data of individuals who are perceived rejection and discrimination, linked to b) their actual rejection and discrimination by Locals.

This project aims to use exactly such data for for the first time with the help of online trust games between 2,000 locals and people with Migration background in (West) Germany's five largest cities to collect. The advantage of the trust game is that it is about the mutual evaluation of two players. This allows us to observe (on a continuous scale) how much the participants (mis-)trust each other and whether they believe that their fellow player (mis-)trusts them. Only such unorthodox collected data allow to compare the empirical relationship between perceived and actual xenophobia and thus to investigate both answers to long existing controversies, as well as new and deeper insights into this central aspect of ethnic demarcation.


Project Management
2020 - 2021
DFG (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft)