International researchers have discovered that fearing both foreigners and immigrants is linked with voting for and supporting Brexit.
This result was found in two studies, which concluded that the link was consistent no matter the gender, age or education of the person.
In reaching this conclusion, researchers looked at people who belong to three distinct belief systems associated with xenophobia, according to The Independent.
The groups were right-wing authoritarianism; social dominance orientation, which refers to people who believe they should fight for superiority against the rest of the world; and collective narcissism, which means those who believe their country is greater than others.
Firstly 280 people were asked to answer a survey just after the EU referendum, and later, when the Government had expanded on its Brexit position, 226 people were sampled.
Based on these surveys, the researchers concluded that all three traits in personality were related to Brexit support and xenophobia.
Doctor Agnieszka Golec de Zavala, lead author on the paper and social psychologist, said “what people see is acceptable, they do" however she admitted “people have those sorts of beliefs in a more or less stable way" so they would have held them before Brexit took place.
But she believes “those attitudes were made salient by the Leave campaign, and were more likely to mobilise these people. “
Zavala added: “Personally I think the Leave campaign gave a new, acceptable way to express xenophobia.”