The Effects of Mortality Salience and Social Isolation Salience on Individualistic and Collectivistic Cognition

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The Effects of Mortality Salience and Social Isolation Salience on Individualistic and Collectivistic Cognition

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Title: The Effects of Mortality Salience and Social Isolation Salience on Individualistic and Collectivistic Cognition
Author: Polykoff, Jason
Department: Haverford College. Dept. of Psychology
Type: Thesis (B.A.)
Running Time: 396756 bytes143536 bytes
Issue Date: 2006
Abstract: Terror management theory asserts that humans have an inherent fear of dying, and when their death is made salient (mortality salience) they cling to their worldviews as a means to mitigate their fear. Coalitional psychology’s claims diverge from this assumption, stating that it is not individuals’ thoughts of death that cause them to attach to their worldviews, but instead, it is thoughts of being socially alone (social isolation salience). A study testing this assertion found no significant difference in thought accessibility between mortality salience and social isolation salience. Additionally, studies using cognitive tasks found that individuals from separate cultures (individualistic and collectivistic) think differently. The present study compared terror management theory claims and coalitional psychology claims on individualistic and collectivistic cognition. In Study 1, thought accessibility was examined using a word-completion task after participants were primed with individualistic or collectivistic thought, followed by mortality salience, social isolation salience, or neutral salience. In Study 2, participants completed two cognitive tasks, the Embedded Figures Task and the Self-Attribution Task, after being primed with the same saliencies as the first study. Results from both studies produced no relevant significant findings. The potential confounds of the study’s design and ideas for future research are discussed.
Subject: Social isolation
Subject: Death -- Psychological aspects
Subject: Coalitions
Subject: Terror
Permanent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10066/745

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Polykoff, Jason. "The Effects of Mortality Salience and Social Isolation Salience on Individualistic and Collectivistic Cognition". 2006. Available electronically from http://hdl.handle.net/10066/745.

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