Journal of Undergraduate Research


European Union, immigration, refugee, ethnic conflict, positive interactions


Family, Home, and Social Sciences


Political Science


On the heels of the Brexit vote and growing anxiety accompanied with leaving the European Union, immigration in the United Kingdom persists as a breaking point between native Britons, immigrants, and recent asylum seekers. To dispel the fervent animosity between these groups, humanization needs to occur in order for each party to see the others as their equal and develop long-term peaceful solutions. Decreasing ethnic conflict is often accomplished through increased positive interactions between groups. The perception is that many more refugees are being admitted into the country and yet most Brits are not acquainted with any. Introducing citizens to refugees with hopes of developing personal connections and increased humanization is a large and costly task, so I used the writings of a refugee to test variation of support for refugees. A show of empathy from a refugee towards the average British citizen should be enough to increase Briton’s reciprocal empathy towards refugees, further humanizing the refugees. My hypothesis for this experiment is two-fold. First, I expect that individuals receiving the reciprocal empathy treatment will have increased levels of empathy as compared to those receiving the controls. Second, I expect that this increased empathy will hold for all participants, regardless of pre-measures of antipathy: in-group centric belief (ICB) and national attachment.