Hiding in the Crowd: Can Mortality Salience Promote Affiliation With\ud Others Who Oppose One’s Worldviews?

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Wisman, Arnaud ; Koole, S.L. (2001)

The present research highlights affiliation defenses in the psychological confrontation with death. In 3\ud experiments, it was found that mortality salience led to increased affiliation strivings, as indicated by a\ud greater preference for sitting within a group as opposed to sitting alone. Mortality salience actually led\ud to increased affiliation with a worldview-threatening group (Experiments 1–2), even when affiliation\ud with the group forced participants to attack their own worldviews (Experiment 3). Taken together, the\ud findings support a distinct role of affiliation defenses against existential concerns. Moreover, affiliation\ud defenses seem powerful enough to override worldview validation defenses, even when the worldviews\ud in question are personally relevant and highly accessible.
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