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http://ssrn.com/abstract=1816685
 
 

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Subtle Priming of Shared Human Experiences Eliminates Threat-Induced Negativity Toward Arabs, Immigrants, and Peace-Making


Matt Motyl


University of Virginia

Joshua Hart


Union College

Tom Pyszczynski


University of Colorado at Colorado Springs

David R. Weise


University of Arizona

Cathy R. Cox


Texas Christian University

Molly Maxfield


University of Colorado at Colorado Springs

Angelika Siedel


University of Colorado at Colorado Springs

April 20, 2011

Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, Forthcoming

Abstract:     
Many studies demonstrate that mortality salience can increase negativity toward out-groups but few have examined variables that mitigate this effect. The present research examined whether subtly priming people to think of human experiences shared by people from diverse cultures increases perceived similarity of members of different groups, which then reduces MS-induced negativity toward out-groups. In Study 1, exposure to pictures of people from diverse cultures engaged in common human activities non-significantly reversed the effect of MS on implicit anti-Arab prejudice. In Study 2, thinking about similarities between one’s own favorite childhood memories and those of people from other countries eliminated MS-induced explicit negative attitudes toward immigrants. In Study 3, thinking about similarities between one’s own painful childhood memories and those of people from other countries eliminated the MS-induced reduction in support for peace-making. Mediation analyzes suggest the effects were driven by perceived similarity of people across cultures. These findings suggest that priming widely shared human experiences can attenuate MS-induced inter-group conflict.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 28

Keywords: terror management, implicit, prejudice, attitudes, peace-making, peace, conflict, intergroup relations, immigration, war

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Date posted: April 23, 2011 ; Last revised: May 4, 2011

Suggested Citation

Motyl, Matt and Hart, Joshua and Pyszczynski, Tom and Weise, David R. and Cox, Cathy R. and Maxfield, Molly and Siedel, Angelika, Subtle Priming of Shared Human Experiences Eliminates Threat-Induced Negativity Toward Arabs, Immigrants, and Peace-Making (April 20, 2011). Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1816685

Contact Information

Matt Motyl (Contact Author)
University of Virginia ( email )
Charlottesville, VA 22903
United States
HOME PAGE: http://people.virginia.edu/~msm6sw/
Joshua Hart
Union College ( email )
Schenectady, NY 12308-3151
United States
Tom Pyszczynski
University of Colorado at Colorado Springs ( email )
1420 Austin Bluffs Parkway
Colorado Springs, CO 80933-7150
United States
David R. Weise
University of Arizona ( email )
Tucson, AZ 85721
United States
Cathy R. Cox
Texas Christian University ( email )
Fort Worth, TX 76129
United States
Molly Maxfield
University of Colorado at Colorado Springs ( email )
1420 Austin Bluffs Parkway
Colorado Springs, CO 80933-7150
United States
Angelika Siedel
University of Colorado at Colorado Springs ( email )
1420 Austin Bluffs Parkway
Colorado Springs, CO 80933-7150
United States
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