Connecting terror management and dissonance theory: Evidence that mortality salience increases the preference for supporting information after decisions

Eva Jonas, Jeff Greenberg, Dieter Frey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

61 Scopus citations

Abstract

From the perspective of terror management theory, reminders of mortality should intensify the desire to pursue cognitive consistency. The authors investigated this notion with regard to dissonance theory starting from the finding of research on "selective exposure to information" that after having made a decision, people prefer consonant over dissonant information. The authors found that following mortality salience, people indeed showed an increased preference for information that supported their decision compared to information conflicting with it. However, this only occurred with regard to a worldview-relevant decision case. For a fictitious decision scenario, mortality salience did not affect information seeking. Practical and theoretical implications are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1181-1189
Number of pages9
JournalPersonality and social psychology bulletin
Volume29
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2003

Keywords

  • Cultural worldview
  • Dissonance theory
  • Information search after decisions
  • Terror management theory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology

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