Initially threatened by change, people adapt to societal diversity over time

Initially threatened by change, people adapt to societal diversity over time
With time, people can adapt to societal diversity and actually benefit from it, according to a study led by researchers at Princeton University and the University of Oxford and recently published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). Those in power especially set the tone for integrating people into a new society. Credit: Egan Jimenez, Princeton University

President Donald Trump recently introduced immigration reforms that would prioritize education and employment qualifications over family connections in selecting immigrants and nominated immigration hard-liner Kris Kobach as "immigration czar." The moves, like many by Trump, speak to those who feel threatened by what they perceive as a changing America.

Those insecurities are unwarranted, however. With time, people can adapt to societal and actually benefit from it, according to a study led by researchers at Princeton University and the University of Oxford and recently published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). Those in power especially set the tone for integrating people into a new society.

"If you give people who are different from you half a chance, they will integrate into society pretty well. It is when you purposefully push them out, or erect barriers against them, that problems are introduced," said Douglas Massey, Henry G. Bryant Professor of Sociology and Public Affairs at Princeton's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. "It's important for our to set the right tone, so proper integration can occur."

The research team examined 22 years of psychological, sociological, and demographic data from multiple waves of the World Values Survey, the European Social Survey, and the Latino Barometer Survey. Together the three datasets included more than 338,000 respondents interviewed in more than 100 countries.

The investigators combined various measures of life satisfaction, happiness, and health to create a " index" for respondents to each . Then, they examined the association between this index and religious diversity. Unlike ethnicity and race, which aren't always collected in surveys and are often measured using divergent categories, religion is well recorded using comparable categories. "Religion is a convenient way to look at the issue of social diversity," Massey said.

The researchers analyzed the short-term effects of religious diversity on quality of life as perceived by individuals at different points in time, but also assessed the long-term effects of diversity on quality of life in different countries over longer spans of time. Although religious diversity was negatively associated with quality of life among individuals in the short run, it bore no association with the quality of life across countries in the long run, a finding that was confirmed in each dataset.

The European Social Survey not only allowed the researchers to measure religious diversity and quality of life, it also permitted them to assess social trust and intergroup contact. These additional measures allowed the investigators to perform a "mediation analysis" that considered both the direct and indirect effects of religious diversity on quality of life.

They found that over short two-year periods rising religious diversity acted to reduce social trust, and thereby undermined the quality of life. Over a longer twelve-year period, however, diversity led to greater intergroup contact that increased social trust to offset the negative short-term influence of diversity on of life.

These findings have important policy implications, especially for immigration reform. Whenever people feel insecure for economic reasons and society is also changing around them, it becomes tempting for politicians to blame immigrants for these feelings of insecurity when this is not really the case. It is up to political leaders to set the right tone and message to counteract distrust in the short term so as to encourage integration in the long run, Massey said.

"When it comes to immigrants, political leaders and others have a choice. They can either mobilize sentiments of fear or cultivate feelings of acceptance. It can be tempting for demagogues to mobilize fears for their own political gain, but this is rarely in the best interests of society" Massey said.


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More information: Miguel R. Ramos et al, Humans adapt to social diversity over time, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (2019). DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1818884116
Citation: Initially threatened by change, people adapt to societal diversity over time (2019, May 24) retrieved 19 June 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-05-threatened-people-societal-diversity.html
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
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May 24, 2019
The point isn't about resisting change, but addressing an existing social issue: the continuous influx of uneducated poor people who concentrate around particular areas instead of dispersing into the society at large is pushing entry level wages down and straining the social welfare systems at the same time.

In the areas with the highest number of immigrants, they enter into a segment of the market where the competition for employment is already high and so when they don't end up taking jobs from the working poor who already live there, they end up on state support. This causes social unrest and discontentment.

When viewed as an average, immigration should be a non-issue - the point is that if you put one hand in boiling water and another hand in freezing brine, on average you should be comfortable but in practice both your hands hurt.

May 24, 2019
My understanding is that the "researchers" ask the politicians to continue ignoring the will of the people, and continue the mass migration, because it does not matter anyway.

Ignoring the will of the people is an interesting concept in a democracy. Or maybe we see it more often in a dictatorship?

May 25, 2019
Stats in the EU show that immigrants within the EU actually use fewer welfare resources than the settled citizenry. Whether this is because they don't yet understand "how to play the system", don't have sufficient language skills, etc, or are partially relying on the support network of family and friends around them is not yet clear. But the fact that lack of low-cost housing and social programmes to help immigrants to disperse and integrate into the community are part of the problem. These failures by the State concentrate immigrants in certain areas, mainly urban, where opportunities/support systems are judged to be greatest. Let's just remember that YOUR forebears were probably also immigrants. They struggled, just as these people are struggling. Give them a leg up, not a foot on their necks. I am also an immigrant, as is my husband. Fortunately for us, we have education and resources and came to tolerant, socialist Portugal - not the relatively racist and intolerant USA.

May 26, 2019
Further denial of Human Bio-Diversity and Culturism. SHUN ICKY. The Saracens have been cutting heads since the Sixth Century of the Christian Era and wheeling carts full of heads through Iberian cities to terrorize the infidels. Welcome to the Twenty First Century, little different.

"Progress, far from consisting in change, depends on retentiveness. When change is absolute there remains no being to improve and no direction is set for possible improvement: and when experience is not retained, as among savages, infancy is perpetual. Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. (George Santayana)"

May 26, 2019
I can't speak for Europe but here in the US immigrants are taught how to navigate our welfare system by special interest groups. This comes a a huge cost to the US. They work off the books and collect government benefits. They overcrowd living units with multiple families. This increases local school taxes by a huge amount. Hospitals go bankrupt because people do not pay their bills. In an effort to collect the hospitals charge the uninsured 5-10x more for a service than an insured person.

May 26, 2019
It has been estimated that 100-200 Billion dollars a year is being sent out of the US each year by immigrants. They collect our welfare payments and send their off the books earnings out of the US. They could easily cost US taxpayers 1 Trillion dollars a year.

The Progressives are so afraid of the true numbers being relieved that they do not even want the question of citizenship to be on the US census.

May 26, 2019
well, it's easy to tell who the dull-minded haters are from their disgusting spew they are licking up.
oh, you boys look so pretty in your klan robes. oohh satin, how adorable.

lets see those estimates of how many christians butchered by fellow christians, cause that's the whole point of being a christian?

now the morons, led by the senile buffoon the bogus potus, are trying to provoke a war with Iran.
pimp putin trying to earn a splotch in the history books
by fulfilling russia's old dream of pushing south to the Indian Ocean.
already seized the Dardanelles by subverting Turkey into submission.
now pimp putin will use his whore strumpet to consume America's military resources & manpower smashing Iran.

In conjunction with the saudi's plot using American flesh & blood as sepoy troops to crush the Shiite nations.
finally bringing an end to their fourteen hundred years war.

Aside from the graveyards of American's, what do we get out of all that?
jacked up prices at the fuel pumps

May 27, 2019
Whoda thunk it. Just because people have a different religion doesn't automatically make them into someone who wants to subvert and destroy the way of life of everyone else.

By and large people just want a place where they can raise their families in peace.
Religious fervor, political extremism, envy and hate are just a few extremists (which you will find in any religion equally)

May 27, 2019
"Religious fervor, political extremism, envy and hate are just a few extremists (which you will find in any religion equally)"

Sorry Anti but Christians and Jews have stopped murdering other religions whereas the Muslims think nothing of killing others, even other Muslims because they are of the wrong sect.

Now if you want to make the argument that these wars are political in nature I will listen but there is a big push to adopt Sharia Law among these immigrants in the their host nations turning this into a political war also.

May 27, 2019
" turning this into a political war also."

I meant to say ----- turning this into a religious war also.

May 27, 2019
Sorry Anti but Christians and Jews have stopped murdering other religions

Really? You coulda fooled me. Seems that christian/jewish nations are at the forefront of waging wars and killing people.

May 27, 2019
Among my list of my favorite right-wing authors is
James Dosher

Who pointed out the truism
"That sitting in a church,
does not make you a christian.
Anymore, than sitting in a garage makes you an automobile!"

ms666 is sitting in an outhouse.
making it a pile of crap!

H. Beam Piper
H. L. Mencken
William F. Buckley
S. I. Hayakawa
It is a crying shame that all these brilliant writers are deceased.
As all the altright fairytales bungling up the profession of writer today?
Are all just brain dead.

These followers of the sad puppy cult, brag that being politically correct & ideologically pure?
As much more important than factual accuracy.

But do they ALL have to keep copying from each other?
The same errors in their pseudo-science fantasies?

No, momentum is not the same as acceleration.
No. when you are in Space, above the Earth's atmosphere?
The stars do not sparkle.

No the Balkans & the Baltics are different regions.
How the hell do they screw up geography?

Star Bores Dreck!

May 27, 2019
@mr166
I can't speak for Europe but here in the US immigrants are taught how to navigate our welfare system by special interest groups. This comes a a huge cost to the US. They work off the books and collect government benefits.
source, please

you're making, at best, an "untested claim" ( http://www.auburn...ion.html ), but it's more likely opinion given that you're not producing a source for your statement

where are your breakdowns of immigration?
and the statistical analysis of their stay in the US?
are you talking anecdotally? and how does your microscopic sample size compare to the national statistics?

I'll await your reply and links
Don't link to some idiot site - I want US GOV statistics on this, or, in modern parlance: Original source material
(sans biased opinion)

May 27, 2019
Stats in the EU show that immigrants within the EU actually use fewer welfare resources than the settled citizenry.....


The immigrants within the EU do not cause as much tension in the EU as the immigrants from Africa or from Middle East. Your quote is completely irrelevant.

The illegal immigrants from Africa or Middle East are committing more crimes and terrorist attacks, more rapes, and consume more welfare resources than the native Europeans.

The illegal immigrants from Latin America commit more crimes, and consume more welfare resources than the US citizens.

May 27, 2019
Whoda thunk it. Just because people have a different religion doesn't automatically make them into someone who wants to subvert and destroy the way of life of everyone else.
Not automatically, in theory, no. But because of the exclusionary meme most religions indulge in, it turns out that most of them do, in practice. Persecuting people for their religion is a hate crime and should be prosecuted as such. I won't live long enough to see this.

By and large people just want a place where they can raise their families in peace.
Religious fervor, political extremism, envy and hate are just a few extremists (which you will find in any religion equally)
If persecution of someone else because of their religion uniformly becomes a crime, and prosecution is vigorous, they all can. You need to wake up to this.

May 29, 2019
well fuzzywashe, your racist ignorance & as an anti-human predator, vividly displays that your are a non0human denierbot circuit at one of the russian/saudi axis Dark Web sites.

May 29, 2019
"If you give people who are different from you half a chance, they will integrate into society pretty well."

-This is so skewed from reality.

TRIBALISM, the tribal dynamic; internal altruism in conjunction with external animosity. The process of speciation in human beings.

"It is when you purposefully push them out, or erect barriers against them, that problems are introduced,"

-People do not purposefully resist incursion. Tribalism is genetic.

"Darwin was also aware of the ethnocentrism and xenophobia in social organisms. In animals living in groups, he wrote, "sympathy is directed solely towards members of the same community, and therefore towards known, and more or less loved members, but not to all the individuals of the same species" (Darwin, 1871)
As regards humans, Darwin stated that "the confinement of sympathy to the same tribe" must have been the rule. "

-We dont decide to keep people out, we have to be convinced that their inclusion is beneficial to the tribe.

May 29, 2019
Tribal behaviors among incursives automatically initiate a tribal response. Integration is a 2-way street; newcomers must express a willingness to surrender their own tribal tendencies if they expect to gain acceptance.

Additionally, tribalism erupts anew with each new generation, especially in overcrowded conditions. 'Disaffected youth' sense that there is no room for them in society, and in fact this may be the message they are receiving, despite what their elders say. Gangs are tribes. If youth dont fit in society they will either leave it if possible or seek to destroy it.

Immigrants are often the disaffected youth from overcrowded countries who have already been rejected from one status quo and are particularly sensitive to that response. Caravans from central america are mostly young males looking for the freedom to start their own tribes, not join someone else's. MS13 is a prime example.

May 29, 2019
Persecuting people for their religion is a hate crime and should be prosecuted as such
Why? Is it wrong to persecute MS13 for exactly the same reasons? How about nazis or stalinists? Religious ignorance and bigotry and martyrdom and yes, reproductive aggression is only a more subtle and insidious form of the caustic tribalism of street gangs and crime families.

Religions are all one thing. They are all identical in what they promise, and what they expect in return. And the main thing they expect is loyalty to their tribe at the expense of all others.

There was a great sea change post 9/11 when people such as dawkins and hitchens and maher defined the antireligionist mindset. But it was quickly suppressed because new waves of very religious immigrants needed to feel welcome in western countries.

Once these new ingredients are thoroughly stirred into melting pots, the war against religion will be renewed. It is after all THE greatest threat to civilization.

May 29, 2019
By and large people just want a place where they can raise their families in peace
-Their overlarge and unsustainable families as mandated by GOD.

"9 Then God blessed Noah and his sons, saying to them, "Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the earth." gen9
[with more of the chosen and fewer of everybody else.]

"31 So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them... 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself." matt6
Religious fervor, political extremism, envy and hate are just a few extremists
...because as their numbers inevitably swell and resources become short, they will begin to feed off the unfaithful.
(which you will find in any religion equally)
Of course. All believers read the same books. And the books all include explicit instructions for this inevitability.

Jun 03, 2019
Looking at the majority of comments here, I fear for society. While individually pathetic, these neo-nazis and racists on this board don't hide the fact that they want to kill someone, and sooner or later they probably will.

I pray that it's only themselves.

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