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Effects of Self-Esteem and Mortality Salience on Attitudes Toward Canadian Security: Exploring the Significance of Implicit-Explicit and Personal-Collective Distinctions (Les Effets de L'Estime de soi et de la Pregnance de la Mort sur les Attitudes a L'Egard de la Securite Canadienne: Analyse de L'Importance des Distinctions entre Implicite et Explicite d'une Part et entre Personnel et Collectif D'Autre Part)

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Terror Management Theory TMT proposes that, due to the unique ability of humans to understand that life is finite, we have developed buffers against the anxiety of such a potentially devastating awareness. These buffers include an adherence to a meaningful cultural worldview and a secure sense of self8722esteem. To date, TMT research has focused almost exclusively on personal mortality salience MS however, the present study aimed to understand the implications of threats made to the source of ones anxiety buffer by creating a collective MS threat. Furthermore, the current study attempted to assess the impact of MS on personal beliefs about ones own and others commitment to Canada, as well as domestic and foreign policies in situations where their Canadian identity was either primed or not. Civilian participants N 123 completed measures of implicit and explicit personal and collective self8722esteem, were exposed to one of three MS conditions control, personal MS, or collective MS and one of two prime conditions Canadian flag present or absent. While the Canadian identity prime had no impact on commitment to Canada or attitudes towards Canadian security, personal MS interacted with both implicit and explicit personal self8722esteem in its impact on personal commitment towards Canada and beliefs about the others obligations towards Canada. The effects of the collective MS condition combined with implicit and explicit collective self8722esteem also influenced personal commitment and beliefs about others obligations, as well as support for extreme domestic policies. The implications of these findings for extreme beliefs in support of a threatened cultural worldview are discussed.

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  • Government and Political Science
  • Defense Systems

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