Universität zu Köln

Join me in Death: Managing Mortality Salience via Mediated Social Encounters

Frischlich, Lena (2015) Join me in Death: Managing Mortality Salience via Mediated Social Encounters. PhD thesis, Universität zu Köln.

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    Abstract

    The synopsis of this cumulative dissertation reports the theoretical background, methodology and main results of five studies addressing the role of intergroup versus interpersonal similarities for mediated social encounters under conditions of mortality salience (MS). Drawing upon terror management theory (TMT, Greenberg, Pyszczynski, & Solomon, 1986) individuals were expected to prefer similar over dissimilar others under conditions of MS. In theory, similarity can take place on the intergroup level (i.e. by belonging to the same in-group) as well as on the interpersonal level (e.g., by holding the same attitudes). So far, the relative relevance of intergroup versus interpersonal similarity has not been studied systematically. Particularly in mediated social encounters, intergroup and interpersonal similarity can be independent from each other and might have different effects. The results of five studies in different contexts confirmed intergroup and interpersonal similarities to have different effects in mediated encounters under conditions of MS. In an online dating context, a similarity-attraction effect emerged only among in-group but not out-group members (Study 1), and intergroup but not interpersonal dissimilarity threatened the individuals’ defense against MS (Study 2). In a gaming context, individuals preferred an interpersonally similar in-group (versus out-group) avatar (Study 4) but showed no in-group bias when the avatar was interpersonally dissimilar (Study 3). Further, the valence of the in-group played a role under conditions of interpersonal dissimilarity (Study 3), but not under conditions of interpersonal similarity (Study 4). Finally, Study 5 found an increased interest in media content by in-group but not out-group members under conditions of MS even when the content (extremist propaganda) was negatively valenced and did not match the recipients’ political attitude. The results are discussed regarding their implications.

    Item Type: Thesis (PhD thesis)
    Creators:
    CreatorsEmail
    Frischlich, Lenalena.frischlich@uni-koeln.de
    URN: urn:nbn:de:hbz:38-66700
    Subjects: Psychology
    Uncontrolled Keywords:
    KeywordsLanguage
    Terror management theory; mortality salience; mediated social encounters; intergroup relationship; interpersonal relationship; similarity-attraction effect; online dating; avatar choice; parochial altruism; extremist propaganda;English
    Faculty: Humanwissenschaftliche Fakultät
    Divisions: Humanwissenschaftliche Fakultät > Department Psychologie
    Language: English
    Date: 10 October 2015
    Date Type: Publication
    Date of oral exam: 27 January 2016
    Full Text Status: Public
    Date Deposited: 20 Apr 2016 08:18:46
    Referee
    NameAcademic Title
    Bente, GaryProf.
    Kneer, JuliaAss. Prof.
    URI: http://kups.ub.uni-koeln.de/id/eprint/6670

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