Economic Information and Immigration Attitudes: Do Visual Messaging Modes Matter?

On 10 November, we welcome Will Allen (University of Oxford) and colleagues to SKAPE as part of our seminar series. Please find the abstract of the paper here:

Despite growing attention to fact-checking in politics and messaging containing visual (primarily photographic) information, few studies connect these phenomena to consider information conveyed via data visualization and infographic videos that increasingly feature in media. Using an experiment fielded in the UK (N=3,411), we examine whether and how messages describing EU immigrants’ positive economic impacts on the UK, and accompanied by either charts or an animated film, change immigration attitudes and policy preferences. Our results show that positively-valenced text and visuals jointly raise attitudes and policy opinions, but visuals do not have impacts over and above the presence of text. We also observe this among Leave voters specifically, adding to knowledge about the scope for information backlash. Given that our case potentially represents a difficult one for finding effects of positive messages about immigration, we contribute evidence about the conditions in which citizens are receptive to information on politically consequential issues.


  • Dr William Allen (Department of Politics and International Relations, University of Oxford)
  • Dr Kristoffer Ahlstrom-Vij (Department of Philosophy, Birkbeck, University of London)
  • Dr Heather Rolfe (British Future)
  • Mr Johnny Runge (National Institute of Economic and Social Research)

All SKAPE seminars will take place online via Zoom in autumn 2021 (for link details, please email the Co-Directors – if you are already a member/associate member of SKAPE, then you will receive a Zoom link two days before the start of the event).


Nov 10 2021


11:30 am - 12:30 pm


Online - Zoom