Religious fundamentalism and responses to mortality salience: A quantitative text analysis

  • Friedman M
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Investigating an issue of critical importance for the psychology of religion and for terror management theory, this study examines the relationship between religious fundamentalism and beliefs about death as articulated during a mortality salience (MS) manipulation. Participants wrote about the emotions and events surrounding their own death (MS), or a control topic, and linguistic content in the essays was related to levels of self-reported fundamentalism of the essay authors. Higher levels of fundamentalism were associated with responses to MS that were less cognitively complex, contained more positive emotion, and were more future and socially oriented. There was virtually no relationship between fundamentalism and linguistic properties of writings about a control topic. The discussion centers on the influence of fundamentalist belief systems on attitudes toward death and suggests how the current results might aid future study of religious belief and of terror management. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR] Copyright of International Journal for the Psychology of Religion is the property of Taylor & Francis Ltd and its content may not be copied or emailed to multiple sites or posted to a listserv without the copyright holder's express written permission. However, users may print, download, or email articles for individual use. This abstract may be abridged. No warranty is given about the accuracy of the copy. Users should refer to the original published version of the material for the full abstract. (Copyright applies to all Abstracts.)

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  • Mike Friedman

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