The Impact of Narratives on Attitudes toward Muslim Immigrants in the U.S.

Mary Bresnahan, Xiaodi Yan, Yi Zhu, Syed Ali Hussain

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


This study examined the impact of narratives on attitudes toward Muslim immigrants in the U.S. Based on a 2 (content: acceptance vs. rejection) × 2 (narrator: Muslim vs. American) plus control condition design, 479 participants read one of five messages. More contact and positive attribution toward Muslim immigrants was associated less threat and exclusion. The American narrator telling a rejection narrative was the most disliked and received little empathy. Overall, narratives describing Muslim immigrants’ experience of rejection were more impactful on participant intention to engage in pro-social behaviours. This study discussed the implications of narratives in bias reduction efforts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)400-415
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Intercultural Communication Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2019


  • Anti-Muslim bias in the U.S
  • bias reduction
  • intergroup emotions
  • narrative persuasion
  • threat and exclusion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Communication


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