Lifshin et al. found that death primes increased support for killing animals, suggesting that the killing of animals serves a terror management function. The present research adds to this by suggesting that protecting animals can also serve a terror management function when people see such behaviors as culturally valuable. In three studies (N = 765), environmental contingent self-worth (ECSW) moderated the effect of death primes on attitudes toward animals. Attitudes toward animals also mediated the effect of a death prime on increased power-based invulnerability for those with low ECSW and decreased power-based invulnerability for those with high ECSW (Study 3). Finally, we found little support that death primes influenced beliefs regarding human-animal superiority (Study 1 and 2) or similarity (Study 2). Our findings therefore provide partial support for past terror management research and further the understanding regarding how to promote more benevolent human-animal relations.
|Publication Title||Pers Soc Psychol Bull|
|Author Address||Royal Holloway, University of London, Egham, UK.|
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