Terror management research has shown that reminding Ss of their mortality leads to intolerance. The present research assessed whether mortality salience would lead to increased intolerance when the value of tolerance is highly accessible. In Study 1, given that liberals value tolerance more than conservatives, it was hypothesized that with mortality salience, dislike of dissimilar others would increase among conservatives but decrease among liberals. Liberal and conservative Ss were induced to think about their own mortality or a neutral topic and then were asked to evaluate 2 target persons, 1 liberal, the other conservative. Ss' evaluations of the targets supported these hypotheses. In Study 2, the value of tolerance was primed for half the Ss and, under mortality-salient or control conditions, Ss evaluated a target person who criticized the United States. Mortality salience did not lead to negative reactions to the critic when the value of tolerance was highly accessible.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Psychology
- Sociology and Political Science