Mahurin Honors College Capstone Experience/Thesis Projects


Political Science

Document Type



This research paper deals with perceptions of refugees, with the intent to demonstrate what factors influence perceptions of refugees in general, and specifically in the context of Taiwan. The paper is divided into two larger sections. The first section functions as a literature review with the aim of providing the reader with existing background information on the topic of perceptions of refugees. The second section contains an experimental study on perceptions of refugees in Taiwan. While the effects of individual-level factors on perceptions of refugees have been examined by many studies and in different countries, their effects have never been examined in the context of Taiwan. In this study, I employ a public opinion survey containing an experimental design question in order to see how framing of refugees affects Taiwanese citizens’ willingness to agree to Taiwan taking in Syrian refugees. Motivated by the current international refugee crisis, I tested to see whether participants are more deterred by the number or by the religion of the refugees. Analysis of individual-level survey data shows that the number of the refugees is a far greater deterrent for Taiwanese citizens to accept refugees than is the religion of the refugees. This study serves as a starting point for additional research in that area.

Advisor(s) or Committee Chair

Dr. Timothy Rich


Asian Studies | International Relations | Politics and Social Change | Race and Ethnicity | Social Statistics