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Title: Exploring the impact of reminders of mortality and terrorist events on intergroup relations : a terror management theory perspective
Author: Gillespie, Rebecca J.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3500 0893
Awarding Body: University of Sussex
Current Institution: University of Sussex
Date of Award: 2006
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The current research presents a series of papers which have been designed to test the TMT contention that mortality concerns precipitate intergroup bias and prejudice. In addition the research also examined whether terrorism salience produces similar effects. The paper presented in Chapter 2 (Study 1) first illustrated that terrorism salience manipulations .constructed' from media coverage of the events of September 11th 2001 induced mortality salience. Furthennore this paper (Study' 2) demons~tes that mortality salience, but not terrorism salience, precipitated less favourable attitudes towards a racially proud Black outgroup member. However neither mort~lity salience nor terrorism salience was found to influence ratings of a racially proud Arabic out-group member or a racially proud White ingroup member. It is proposed that the null fmdings with regard to the Arabic author might be attributable to the fact that. exposure to this target evoked mortality salience, and empirical evidence in support of this view is presented (Study 3). The paper presented in Chapter' 3 explores whether mortality salience and / or terrorism salience influence contemporary measures of prejudiced attitudes. Study 1 found no evidence that mortality salience or terrorism salience impact upon prejudiced attitudes towards 'foreigners' as measured by th,e subtle and blatant prejudice scales (pettigrew & Meertens, 1995). Study 2 however, revealed that mortality salience lead those participants who value tolerance to express'more favo.urable attitudes towards 'asylum seekers' as measured by the mod~m racism scale (McConahay, 1986). No such effects were found for terrorism salience and it is proposed that this may be attributable to the terrorism sali~nce manipulation used. The paper presented in Chapter 4 therefore used media based coverage of the July 7tD. 2005 London bombings to manipulate terrorism salience. Accordingly, Study 1 illustrated that exposure to this manipulation served to induce mortality salience. Study 2 employed an, implicit measure of attitude and demonstrated that terrorism salience led to less positive attitudes towards Arabic out-group members. This effect however was onlYfound among participants who did not place a high value on tolerance and no such effects were found in conditions of mortality salience. The limitations of these fmdings, and the implications of them for TMT, terrorism salience and intergroup relations are discussed in the final chapter.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available