Evidence for a role of death thought in American attitudes toward symbols of Islam

Florette Cohen, Melissa Soenke, Sheldon Solomon, Jeff L Greenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Four studies were conducted to examine how concerns about mortality contribute to Americans' negative attitudes and behavior toward symbols of Islam. Study 1 found that a subtle reminder of death decreased support for the Ground Zero mosque, and increased the distance from Ground Zero that people felt was appropriate for a mosque to be built. Study 2 found that asking people to think about a mosque being built in their neighborhood increased the accessibility of implicit death thoughts. Study 3 replicated the results of Study 2 and showed that thinking of a church or synagogue did not produce the same effect as thinking of a mosque. Study 4 found that heightened death thought accessibility in response to a mortality salience induction was eliminated when the participants read a newspaper account of the desecration of the Quran.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)189-194
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Experimental Social Psychology
Volume49
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2013

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Islam
mosque
symbol
death
evidence
Newspapers
mortality
Mortality
induction
newspaper
church
Thinking

Keywords

  • 9/11
  • Islam
  • Mortality salience
  • Mosque
  • Prejudice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science

Cite this

Evidence for a role of death thought in American attitudes toward symbols of Islam. / Cohen, Florette; Soenke, Melissa; Solomon, Sheldon; Greenberg, Jeff L.

In: Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, Vol. 49, No. 2, 03.2013, p. 189-194.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Cohen, Florette ; Soenke, Melissa ; Solomon, Sheldon ; Greenberg, Jeff L. / Evidence for a role of death thought in American attitudes toward symbols of Islam. In: Journal of Experimental Social Psychology. 2013 ; Vol. 49, No. 2. pp. 189-194.
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