October 16, 2009
Annotated Bibliography – Terror Management
Greenberg, J., Pysczynski, T., Solomon, S., Rosenblatt, A., Veeder, M., Kirkland, S., et al.
(1990). Evidence for terror management theory II: The effects of mortality
reactions to those who threaten or bolster the cultural worldview.
Social Psychology, 58
Evaluating the human tendency of violence towards people who are different is important
for understanding as well as practical applications.
According to Ernest Becker (1962, 1973,
1975) human awareness of mortality can produce extreme terror, and societies form beliefs about
reality to buffer anxiety and fear about inevitable death.
In order to verify theories of terror
management, Greenberg, J., et al. (1990) conducted three studies involving mortality salience.
Mortality salience treatments were derived from the Rosenblatt et al. (1989) study where
participants wrote about what would physically happen to them when they die and how thinking
about their own death made them feel.
Rosenblatt et al. (1989) used the idea of a prostitute as a
moral transgressor, and found groups in the mortality salience condition reacted more negatively
to the prostitute description. Greenberg, J., et al. (1990) expected to see if the same negative
reactions in response to people who agree with or refute worldviews.
The Greenberg, J., et al. (1990) study expands previous research to include reactions
towards people with different religious affiliations, attitude, and explicit criticism or bolstering of