Evidence for a role of death thought in American attitudes toward symbols of Islam
Mortality salience, Mosque, Islam, Prejudice, 9/11
Four studies were conducted to examine how concerns about mortality contribute to Americans' negative attitudes and behavior toward symbols of Islam. Study 1 found that a subtle reminder of death decreased support for the Ground Zero mosque, and increased the distance from Ground Zero that people felt was appropriate for a mosque to be built. Study 2 found that asking people to think about a mosque being built in their neighborhood increased the accessibility of implicit death thoughts. Study 3 replicated the results of Study 2 and showed that thinking of a church or synagogue did not produce the same effect as thinking of a mosque. Study 4 found that heightened death thought accessibility in response to a mortality salience induction was eliminated when the participants read a newspaper account of the desecration of the Quran.
Journal of Experimental Social Psychology
Cohen, Florette; Soenke, Melissa; Solomon, Sheldon; and Greenberg, Jeff, "Evidence for a role of death thought in American attitudes toward symbols of Islam" (2013). Psychology Faculty Scholarship. 1.