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Polarized attitudes : the influence of terrorism salience on prejudice towards Arabs

WCU Author/Contributor (non-WCU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Caleb James Corwin (Creator)
Institution
Western Carolina University (WCU )
Web Site: http://www.wcu.edu/404.asp
Advisor
Winford Gordon

Abstract: The purpose of the current study was to untangle previous findings within the Terror Management Theory (TMT) literature suggesting that the activation of worldview defense causes an increased preference for the in-group culture and a decreased preference for the out-group culture. In our study we used the Affect Misattribution Procedure (AMP), an implicit measure which provided the opportunity to test TMT in a within subjects design. The AMP was used to assess participants’ attitudes towards various in-group and out-group depictions. Unlike previous literature we separated these cultural groups based on valence, positive and negative. Analyses revealed that attitude changes following mortality salience (MS) are accounted for by differences in valence and not differences in culture, in-group/out-group. This finding provides further explanations of previous TMT findings and highlights a previously ignored variable with significant implications. We also examined the effects of terrorism salience (TS) to see if there was a link between attitudes towards Arab culture and this manipulation. Our results revealed that no relationship exists between TS and Arab culture when compared to a non-related out-group culture, Chinese.

Additional Information

Publication
Thesis
Language: English
Date: 2009
Keywords
Affect Misattribution Procedure, Mortality Salience, Prejudice, Terror Management Theory, Terrorism Salience, Worldview Defense
Subjects
Terrorism -- Psychological aspects
Prejudices
Racism -- United States
Arabs -- United States -- Public opinion