Deliver us from evil: The effects of mortality salience and reminders of 9/11 on support for President George W. Bush

Mark J. Landau, Sheldon Solomon, Jeff L Greenberg, Florette Cohen, Tom Pyszczynski, Jamie Arndt, Claude H. Miller, Daniel M. Ogilvie, Alison Cook

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

374 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

According to terror management theory, heightened concerns about mortality should intensify the appeal of charismatic leaders. To assess this idea, we investigated how thoughts about death and the 9/11 terrorist attacks influence Americans' attitudes toward current U.S. President George W. Bush. Study 1 found that reminding people of their own mortality (mortality salience) increased support for Bush and his counterterrorism policies. Study 2 demonstrated that subliminal exposure to 9/11-related stimuli brought death-related thoughts closer to consciousness. Study 3 showed that reminders of both mortality and 9/11 increased support for Bush. In Study 4, mortality salience led participants to become more favorable toward Bush and voting for him in the upcoming election but less favorable toward Presidential candidate John Kerry and voting for him. Discussion focused on the role of terror management processes in allegiance to charismatic leaders and political decision making.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1136-1150
Number of pages15
JournalPersonality and Social Psychology Bulletin
Volume30
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2004

Fingerprint

Mortality
Politics
Consciousness
Decision Making

Keywords

  • 9/11
  • Charismatic leaders
  • Election politics
  • Gearge W. Bush
  • Terror management theory
  • Terrorism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)
  • Social Psychology

Cite this

Deliver us from evil : The effects of mortality salience and reminders of 9/11 on support for President George W. Bush. / Landau, Mark J.; Solomon, Sheldon; Greenberg, Jeff L; Cohen, Florette; Pyszczynski, Tom; Arndt, Jamie; Miller, Claude H.; Ogilvie, Daniel M.; Cook, Alison.

In: Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, Vol. 30, No. 9, 09.2004, p. 1136-1150.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Landau, Mark J. ; Solomon, Sheldon ; Greenberg, Jeff L ; Cohen, Florette ; Pyszczynski, Tom ; Arndt, Jamie ; Miller, Claude H. ; Ogilvie, Daniel M. ; Cook, Alison. / Deliver us from evil : The effects of mortality salience and reminders of 9/11 on support for President George W. Bush. In: Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. 2004 ; Vol. 30, No. 9. pp. 1136-1150.
@article{f2128ea4bc794374a096154cecbd89f9,
title = "Deliver us from evil: The effects of mortality salience and reminders of 9/11 on support for President George W. Bush",
abstract = "According to terror management theory, heightened concerns about mortality should intensify the appeal of charismatic leaders. To assess this idea, we investigated how thoughts about death and the 9/11 terrorist attacks influence Americans' attitudes toward current U.S. President George W. Bush. Study 1 found that reminding people of their own mortality (mortality salience) increased support for Bush and his counterterrorism policies. Study 2 demonstrated that subliminal exposure to 9/11-related stimuli brought death-related thoughts closer to consciousness. Study 3 showed that reminders of both mortality and 9/11 increased support for Bush. In Study 4, mortality salience led participants to become more favorable toward Bush and voting for him in the upcoming election but less favorable toward Presidential candidate John Kerry and voting for him. Discussion focused on the role of terror management processes in allegiance to charismatic leaders and political decision making.",
keywords = "9/11, Charismatic leaders, Election politics, Gearge W. Bush, Terror management theory, Terrorism",
author = "Landau, {Mark J.} and Sheldon Solomon and Greenberg, {Jeff L} and Florette Cohen and Tom Pyszczynski and Jamie Arndt and Miller, {Claude H.} and Ogilvie, {Daniel M.} and Alison Cook",
year = "2004",
month = "9",
doi = "10.1177/0146167204267988",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "30",
pages = "1136--1150",
journal = "Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin",
issn = "0146-1672",
publisher = "SAGE Publications Inc.",
number = "9",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Deliver us from evil

T2 - The effects of mortality salience and reminders of 9/11 on support for President George W. Bush

AU - Landau, Mark J.

AU - Solomon, Sheldon

AU - Greenberg, Jeff L

AU - Cohen, Florette

AU - Pyszczynski, Tom

AU - Arndt, Jamie

AU - Miller, Claude H.

AU - Ogilvie, Daniel M.

AU - Cook, Alison

PY - 2004/9

Y1 - 2004/9

N2 - According to terror management theory, heightened concerns about mortality should intensify the appeal of charismatic leaders. To assess this idea, we investigated how thoughts about death and the 9/11 terrorist attacks influence Americans' attitudes toward current U.S. President George W. Bush. Study 1 found that reminding people of their own mortality (mortality salience) increased support for Bush and his counterterrorism policies. Study 2 demonstrated that subliminal exposure to 9/11-related stimuli brought death-related thoughts closer to consciousness. Study 3 showed that reminders of both mortality and 9/11 increased support for Bush. In Study 4, mortality salience led participants to become more favorable toward Bush and voting for him in the upcoming election but less favorable toward Presidential candidate John Kerry and voting for him. Discussion focused on the role of terror management processes in allegiance to charismatic leaders and political decision making.

AB - According to terror management theory, heightened concerns about mortality should intensify the appeal of charismatic leaders. To assess this idea, we investigated how thoughts about death and the 9/11 terrorist attacks influence Americans' attitudes toward current U.S. President George W. Bush. Study 1 found that reminding people of their own mortality (mortality salience) increased support for Bush and his counterterrorism policies. Study 2 demonstrated that subliminal exposure to 9/11-related stimuli brought death-related thoughts closer to consciousness. Study 3 showed that reminders of both mortality and 9/11 increased support for Bush. In Study 4, mortality salience led participants to become more favorable toward Bush and voting for him in the upcoming election but less favorable toward Presidential candidate John Kerry and voting for him. Discussion focused on the role of terror management processes in allegiance to charismatic leaders and political decision making.

KW - 9/11

KW - Charismatic leaders

KW - Election politics

KW - Gearge W. Bush

KW - Terror management theory

KW - Terrorism

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=4344700334&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=4344700334&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1177/0146167204267988

DO - 10.1177/0146167204267988

M3 - Article

C2 - 15359017

AN - SCOPUS:4344700334

VL - 30

SP - 1136

EP - 1150

JO - Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin

JF - Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin

SN - 0146-1672

IS - 9

ER -