Mortality Salience and Political Violence

  • Matteo Vergani


This chapter presents the results of two experiments conducted in Australia. The experiments ask participants to think about their own death and examine whether individual attitudes (such as political orientation and opinions about immigrants) moderate mortality salience (MS) effects on political attitudes. The findings show that participants exposed to MS increase their belief in religious worldviews and their support for policies that counter extremism through the use of military force. However, no effect is detected on support for extremist statements. The results are counter to the widespread view held by researchers of the psychology of terrorism who suggest that MS can increase support for extremism among non-extremist samples.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Matteo Vergani
    • 1
  1. 1.Alfred Deakin Institute for Citizenship and GlobalisationDeakin UniversityBurwoodAustralia

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