Measuring perceived realistic physical threat imposed by migrants: Scale development and validation

Hellmann J H, Schlechter P, Knausenberger J, Bollwerk M, Geukes K, & Back M D

Forschungsartikel (Zeitschrift)


Individuals differ in the extent to which they perceive threat imposed by out-groups like migrants. An established distinction in intergroup threat research is between symbolic and realistic threat. While symbolic threats concern a perceived menace against societal values, realistic threats jeopardize in-group members' well-being more directly. Typically applied realistic threat conceptions explicitly include the aspect of physical integrity, but most empirical research captures only realistic economic threats, arguably also due to a lack of appropriate measures. Therefore, we have developed the Perceived Realistic Physical Threat scale (PRPT) with samples from Germany and the UK (total N=1,391). Moreover, we conducted follow-up analyses with data from a subsample (N=473) of the initial UK sample. Factor analyses indicated an 8-item one-factorial solution for the PRPT scale. We further identified measurement invariance across samples and over time and stability across 21 months. We found convincing evidence for its convergent and divergent validity and for its predictive and, importantly, incremental validity, above and beyond the prediction of relevant criteria by other threat types. The PRPT scale appears to be a distinct, comprehensive, and psychometrically sound measure of perceived realistic physical threat, complementing the existing body of available measures.

Details zur Publikation

Veröffentlichungsjahr: 2022
Sprache, in der die Publikation verfasst istEnglisch