PUBLI : Martin Aranguren, Francesco Madrisotti, Eser Durmaz, Gernot Gerger, Lena Wittmann et Marc Méhu, « Responses to the islamic headscarf in everyday interactions depend on sex and locale : a field experiment in the metros of Brussels, Paris, and Vienna on helping and involvement behaviors », PLOS One, 2021, en ligne


The Islamic head­scarf has been in the middle of heated debates in Euro­pean society, yet little is known about its influence on day-to-day inter­ac­tions. The aim of this rando­mized field expe­riment (n = 840) is to explore how the gene­rally nega­tive views that surround the hijab in Europe mani­fest in the beha­vior that people direct to hijab-wearing women in everyday situa­tions. Using a helping scenario and video­tapes of the resul­ting inter­ac­tions, we measured whether passen­gers offered assis­tance and also various details of beha­vior that indi­cate inter­per­sonal invol­ve­ment. We predicted that in inter­ac­tion with the covered confe­de­rate less help would be offered, that women’s level of nonverbal invol­ve­ment would increase but men’s decrease, and that responses would be stronger in Paris, inter­me­diate in Brus­sels, and weaker in Vienna. We analyzed the data using Gene­ra­lized Linear Models esti­mated with Baye­sian infe­rence. While the head­scarf does not produce conclu­ding diffe­rences in “overt” helping, it does affect “subtle” cues of inter­per­sonal invol­ve­ment. In response to the hijab, women across sites increase, but men in Paris decrease, the level of invol­ve­ment that they show with their nonverbal behavior.

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