Daniel Herda's paper, "Too Many Immigrants?: Examining Alternative Forms of Immigrant Population Innumeracy", selected as the winner of the 2012 Pacific Association of Public Opinion Research (PAPOR) Student Paper Competition.
Abstract: The tendency to over-estimate immigrant population sizes has garnered considerable scholarly attention for its potential link to anti-immigrant policy support. However, this existing innumeracy research has neglected other forms of ignorance, namely under-estimation and non-response. Using the 2002 European Social Survey, the current study examines the full scope of innumeracy for the first time. Results indicate that under-estimation and non-response occur commonly across 21 countries and that over-estimation is far from ubiquitous. Non-responders in particular are found to represent a distinct innumeracy form associated with low cognitive availability and high negative affect. Multilevel models indicate that under-estimation associates with greater opposition to anti-immigrant policy, while over-estimation and non-response associate with greater support. Much of these associations are explained by affective factors. However, significant under- and over-estimation coefficients remain net of controls suggesting that innumeracy may be more important than initially thought. Overall, the results highlight the multifaceted character of innumeracy.
The paper will be presented at the PAPOR conference in San Francisco in December.