Mortality salience and the spreading activation of worldview-relevant constructs: Exploring the cognitive architecture of terror management

Jamie Arndt, Jeff L Greenberg, Alison Cook

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

125 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Seven experiments assessed the hypothesis derived from terror management theory that reminding people of their mortality would increase accessibility of constructs central to their worldview. Experiment 1 found that mortality primes, relative to control primes, increased accessibility of nationalistic constructs for men but not for women. Experiment 2 replicated this finding and also found that mortality salience increased romantic accessibility for women but not for men. Four subsequent experiments supported the role of unconscious death-related ideation in producing these effects. A final experiment demonstrated that situational primes can increase the accessibility of nationalistic constructs for women after mortality salience. The roles of situational cues and individual differences in the effects of exposure to death-related stimuli on worldview-relevant construct accessibility are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)307-324
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: General
Volume131
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2002
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Mortality
Individuality
Cues
Unconscious (Psychology)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Psychology(all)
  • Developmental Neuroscience

Cite this

@article{099b67e611f24240b0a2fd930478845a,
title = "Mortality salience and the spreading activation of worldview-relevant constructs: Exploring the cognitive architecture of terror management",
abstract = "Seven experiments assessed the hypothesis derived from terror management theory that reminding people of their mortality would increase accessibility of constructs central to their worldview. Experiment 1 found that mortality primes, relative to control primes, increased accessibility of nationalistic constructs for men but not for women. Experiment 2 replicated this finding and also found that mortality salience increased romantic accessibility for women but not for men. Four subsequent experiments supported the role of unconscious death-related ideation in producing these effects. A final experiment demonstrated that situational primes can increase the accessibility of nationalistic constructs for women after mortality salience. The roles of situational cues and individual differences in the effects of exposure to death-related stimuli on worldview-relevant construct accessibility are discussed.",
author = "Jamie Arndt and Greenberg, {Jeff L} and Alison Cook",
year = "2002",
month = "1",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1037/0096-3445.131.3.307",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "131",
pages = "307--324",
journal = "Journal of Experimental Psychology: General",
issn = "0096-3445",
publisher = "American Psychological Association Inc.",
number = "3",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Mortality salience and the spreading activation of worldview-relevant constructs

T2 - Exploring the cognitive architecture of terror management

AU - Arndt, Jamie

AU - Greenberg, Jeff L

AU - Cook, Alison

PY - 2002/1/1

Y1 - 2002/1/1

N2 - Seven experiments assessed the hypothesis derived from terror management theory that reminding people of their mortality would increase accessibility of constructs central to their worldview. Experiment 1 found that mortality primes, relative to control primes, increased accessibility of nationalistic constructs for men but not for women. Experiment 2 replicated this finding and also found that mortality salience increased romantic accessibility for women but not for men. Four subsequent experiments supported the role of unconscious death-related ideation in producing these effects. A final experiment demonstrated that situational primes can increase the accessibility of nationalistic constructs for women after mortality salience. The roles of situational cues and individual differences in the effects of exposure to death-related stimuli on worldview-relevant construct accessibility are discussed.

AB - Seven experiments assessed the hypothesis derived from terror management theory that reminding people of their mortality would increase accessibility of constructs central to their worldview. Experiment 1 found that mortality primes, relative to control primes, increased accessibility of nationalistic constructs for men but not for women. Experiment 2 replicated this finding and also found that mortality salience increased romantic accessibility for women but not for men. Four subsequent experiments supported the role of unconscious death-related ideation in producing these effects. A final experiment demonstrated that situational primes can increase the accessibility of nationalistic constructs for women after mortality salience. The roles of situational cues and individual differences in the effects of exposure to death-related stimuli on worldview-relevant construct accessibility are discussed.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85047671141&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=85047671141&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1037/0096-3445.131.3.307

DO - 10.1037/0096-3445.131.3.307

M3 - Article

C2 - 12214749

AN - SCOPUS:85047671141

VL - 131

SP - 307

EP - 324

JO - Journal of Experimental Psychology: General

JF - Journal of Experimental Psychology: General

SN - 0096-3445

IS - 3

ER -