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Attitudes Toward Religiosity and Dogmatism

Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0041380/00001

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Title: Attitudes Toward Religiosity and Dogmatism Exploring the Role of Terror Management
Physical Description: 1 online resource (73 p.)
Language: english
Creator: Swan, Lawton
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2010

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: atheism, attitudes, bias, dogmatism, fundamentalism, religion
Psychology -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
Genre: Psychology thesis, M.S.
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation

Notes

Abstract: Although there is evidence to suggest that atheists receive low levels of social acceptance in America, relatively little is known about how people view being religious. This study assessed attitudes toward a fictitious character that was identified either as an atheist, agnostic, not religious, somewhat religious, very religious, or a religious fundamentalist, with the hypothesis that both atheists and religious fundamentalists would be evaluated more negatively than those with non-fundamentalist religious beliefs. Although support was found for a general bias against atheists on an attitude measure, stronger religious beliefs appeared to be associated with more positive evaluations in this sample, even when the character was perceived as highly religious and relatively dogmatic. Terror Management Theory was proposed as a theoretical framework for explaining these attitudes, but support for this supposition was not found. These findings may inform future research investigating the relationship between religiosity and prejudice.
General Note: In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
General Note: Includes vita.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Statement of Responsibility: by Lawton Swan.
Thesis: Thesis (M.S.)--University of Florida, 2010.
Local: Adviser: Heesacker, Martin.
Electronic Access: RESTRICTED TO UF STUDENTS, STAFF, FACULTY, AND ON-CAMPUS USE UNTIL 2012-04-30

Record Information

Source Institution: UFRGP
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: lcc - LD1780 2010
System ID: UFE0041380:00001

Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0041380/00001

Material Information

Title: Attitudes Toward Religiosity and Dogmatism Exploring the Role of Terror Management
Physical Description: 1 online resource (73 p.)
Language: english
Creator: Swan, Lawton
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2010

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: atheism, attitudes, bias, dogmatism, fundamentalism, religion
Psychology -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
Genre: Psychology thesis, M.S.
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation

Notes

Abstract: Although there is evidence to suggest that atheists receive low levels of social acceptance in America, relatively little is known about how people view being religious. This study assessed attitudes toward a fictitious character that was identified either as an atheist, agnostic, not religious, somewhat religious, very religious, or a religious fundamentalist, with the hypothesis that both atheists and religious fundamentalists would be evaluated more negatively than those with non-fundamentalist religious beliefs. Although support was found for a general bias against atheists on an attitude measure, stronger religious beliefs appeared to be associated with more positive evaluations in this sample, even when the character was perceived as highly religious and relatively dogmatic. Terror Management Theory was proposed as a theoretical framework for explaining these attitudes, but support for this supposition was not found. These findings may inform future research investigating the relationship between religiosity and prejudice.
General Note: In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
General Note: Includes vita.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Statement of Responsibility: by Lawton Swan.
Thesis: Thesis (M.S.)--University of Florida, 2010.
Local: Adviser: Heesacker, Martin.
Electronic Access: RESTRICTED TO UF STUDENTS, STAFF, FACULTY, AND ON-CAMPUS USE UNTIL 2012-04-30

Record Information

Source Institution: UFRGP
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: lcc - LD1780 2010
System ID: UFE0041380:00001


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ATTITUDES TOWARD RELIGIOSITY AND DOGMATISM: EXPLORING THE ROLE OF TERROR MANAGEMENT By LAWTON K. SWAN A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF SCIENCE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2010 1

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2010 Lawton K. Swan 2

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ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I have many to thank for their contributions to this thesis. Foremost, I thank my chair, Dr. Martin Heesacker, whose mentoring and guidance have truly been invaluable beyond words. I simply cannot imagine a more conducive and supportive environment for exploring my scientific interests. I also wish to thank my committee members, Dr. David Hackett and Dr. Chun-Chung Choi. Their knowledge and feedback significantly improved this paper, and consistently reminded me of what draws me to science in the first place: critical, honest, and meaningful discourse. I also wish to thank my lab-mates. Our meetings are genuinely a highlight of my week, and their input was always fantastic. Finally, I thank my family and partner Katie for their unwavering support and encouragement. It means the world. 3

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TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ..................................................................................................3 LIST OF TABLES ............................................................................................................6 LIST OF FIGURES ..........................................................................................................7 ABSTRACT .....................................................................................................................8 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION....................................................................................................10 2 REVIEW OF LITERATURE....................................................................................14 Terror Management................................................................................................14 Dogmatism..............................................................................................................18 Hypotheses.............................................................................................................19 3 METHOD................................................................................................................21 Sample Characteristics and Procedure...................................................................21 Measures................................................................................................................22 Self-Esteem......................................................................................................22 Self-Descriptions..............................................................................................22 Evaluations.......................................................................................................23 Death-Thought Accessibility and Delay............................................................24 Negative Affect.................................................................................................25 Dogmatic Thinking............................................................................................25 4 RESULTS...............................................................................................................27 Hypothesis 1...........................................................................................................27 Semantic Differentials......................................................................................29 Public Acceptance............................................................................................29 Hypothesis 2...........................................................................................................30 Hypothesis 3...........................................................................................................30 Hypothesis 4...........................................................................................................31 5 DISCUSSION.........................................................................................................36 Attitudes Toward Atheists and Religious Fundamentalists: Scylla and Charybdis?..........................................................................................................36 Dogmatism..............................................................................................................39 Terror Management................................................................................................40 4

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Limitations and Suggestions for Future Research..................................................41 Conclusion..............................................................................................................44 APPENDIX A SELF-DESCRIPTIONS...........................................................................................47 Sam........................................................................................................................47 Tom.........................................................................................................................47 B SURVEY.................................................................................................................48 REFERENCES..............................................................................................................69 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH............................................................................................73 5

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LIST OF TABLES Table page 4-1 Means and standard deviations for the semantic differential measure and public acceptance item by Sam/Toms religiosity label.................................................33 4-2 Means and standard deviations for the perceived DOG scale by Sam/Toms religiosity label....................................................................................................33 5-1 Semantic Differential and DOG Scale Means by Religiosity Label........................46 6

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LIST OF FIGURES Figure page 4-1 Means plot of semantic differential score by religiosity label...................................34 4-2 Means plot of the public acceptance item by religiosity label..................................34 4-3 Means plot of scores on the perceived DOG scale by religiosity label....................35 7

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Abstract of Thesis Presented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Science ATTITUDES TOWARD RELIGIOSITY AND DOGMATISM: EXPLORING THE ROLE OF TERROR MANAGEMENT By Lawton K. Swan May 2010 Chair: Martin Heesacker Major: Psychology Negative attitudes toward atheists in America suggest that theistic beliefs are an important and perhaps crucial component of social acceptance, though there is still demonstrated and yet unexplained variability both between and within religious faiths. In national polling data, for example, Christians identified as Fundamentalists received more negative evaluations than their non-fundamentalist counterparts, perhaps suggesting a non-linear relationship between attitudinal evaluations and degree of religiosity. To begin exploring this phenomenon, the present survey research employed a sample of 541 students at three large southeastern institutions of higher education to address three research aims: (1) to replicate and extend previous research on negative attitudes toward atheists by examining attitudes toward fictitious characters with various religiosity identifications (atheist, agnostic, not religious, somewhat religious, very religious, and religious fundamentalist), (2) to test formally the hypothesis that both atheists and religious fundamentalists would be evaluated more negatively than those with non-fundamentalist religious beliefs, and (3) to explore the potential role of terror management in the formation and maintenance of these attitudes. This study found support for a general bias against atheists on an attitude measure, but did not find 8

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support for a general bias against religious fundamentalists. Further, attitudes toward a fictitious character were not more negative when the character was perceived as relatively religious and dogmatic. Finally, presenting participants with a biography of a person who identifies as an atheist or a religious fundamentalist did not appear to trigger death-thought awareness in this sample. 9

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CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION Despite increasing religious pluralism in American society (Hout & Fischer, 2006), national polling data have shown that attitudes toward atheists have been negative consistently over the last 50 years (Edgell, Gerteis, & Hartmann, 2006; Newport, 1999). Gallup polling revealed in 2007 that fewer than half of Americans polled indicated that they would vote for an otherwise qualified presidential candidate who identified as an atheist (Jones, 2007), and the Pew Research Center (2003) found that when asked directly, most people expressed an unfavorable attitude toward atheists as a group. Edgell et al. (2006) have argued that these trends, when understood in what they term a meta-narrative historical framework, suggest that Americans distrust of atheists is driven by a symbolic moral distinction between those who have religious beliefs (a requisite for cultural membership) and those who do not. Although these findings do indicate that theism is an important component of social acceptance in American society, these and other findings also reveal that peoples attitudes toward adherents of diverse theistic faiths are not homogenous. For example, these same polling data also revealed that Christians and Jews received considerably more positive attitude ratings than Mormons and Muslims (Jones, 2007), and there is ample evidence to suggest that increasing religious pluralism has not abated prejudice and discrimination toward non-hegemonic religious groups in America (e.g., Jews: Cohen, Jussim, Harber, & Bhasin, 2009; Muslims: Moradi & Hasan, 2004). Examining the patterns of attitudes toward members of a particular faith can elucidate this faith effect further. For example, in differentiating between several different denominations of Christianity, The Pew Research Center found that Methodists 10

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(49% positive, 4% negative), Baptists (45% positive, 10% negative), Catholics (45% positive, 13% negative), Evangelical Christians (39% positive, 23% negative), and Fundamentalist Christians (35% positive, 25% negative) all received net positive attitude ratings, though Evangelical and Fundamentalist Christians received roughly 10 percent more negative ratings than other Christian groups evaluated (Jones, 2007). Thus, whereas attitudes toward atheists in America suggest that theistic beliefs are an important and perhaps crucial component of social acceptance, there is still demonstrated and yet unexplained variability both between and within religious faiths. Given the apparent importance of theistic beliefs, it is interesting that Christian Fundamentalists, who anchor one pole of the religious adherence spectrum, have been viewed in surveys less favorably than some of their non-fundamentalist counterparts. Altemeyer and Hunsberger (1992) defined religious fundamentalism as the belief that there is one set of religious teachings that clearly contains the fundamental, basic, intrinsic, essential, inerrant truth about humanity and deity; that this essential truth is fundamentally opposed by forces of evil which must be vigorously fought; that this truth must be totally followed today according to the fundamental, unchangeable practices of the past; and that those who believe and follow these fundamental teachings have a special relationship with the deity. (p. 118) Atheists espouse no positive religious beliefs (e.g., Smith, 1989; Harris, 2004; c.f., Rowe, 1998) while conversely, based on Altemeyer and Hunsbergers definition, religious fundamentalists embrace a fervent conviction. It is unclear whether the Altemeyer-Hunsberger conceptualization of Christian fundamentalists is what respondents had in mind when completing the Gallup Poll (Jones, 2007). Nonetheless, the overall trend evinced by these data suggests that while theistic beliefs confer more social acceptance, too much ideological commitment may diminish these increasing benefits. Thus, in order to gain social acceptance in American society, it seems that one 11

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must navigate between the Scylla of atheism and, though perhaps to a lesser extent, the Charybdis of religious zeal. The present study has three main research aims. The first is to replicate and extend previous research on negative attitudes toward atheists. This phenomenon has received relatively little attention in the empirical literature; no uncovered research has attempted to test the binary atheist-theist distinction hypothesis (Edgell et al., 2006), nor were any studies uncovered which addressed directly this apparent bias against atheists in America. Further, this study examines attitudes toward multiple degrees of theistic belief (atheistic, agnostic, not religious, somewhat religious, very religious, and fundamentalist), rather than toward identification with a particular religious tradition. No empirical literature was uncovered that addressed directly the relationship between degree of religiosity and evaluative bias. By examining this dimension of religious belief, further explication of the relationship between religion and social acceptance might be gained. The second aim is to test formally the hypothesis that both atheists and religious fundamentalists are evaluated more negatively than those with non-fundamentalist religious beliefs. Given polling trends, and given that those who identify as Christian fundamentalists may perceive themselves as targets of discrimination based on their beliefs (e.g., college students at secular universities; Hyers & Hyers, 2008), it seems prudent to explore empirically attitudes toward this population as well. If religious bias is predicated on more than the dichotomy between belief and non-belief, a non-linear relationship between religiosity and attitudinal evaluations is expected. The third aim of this study is to explore the potential role of terror management in the formation and maintenance of these attitudes. Employing terror management theory 12

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(Greenberg, Pyszczynski, & Solomon, 1986) as a theoretical framework, the present study assesses the degree to which bias against atheists and/or religious fundamentalists can be accounted for or explained by participants attempts to manage their own terror. A review of terror management theory is presented in Chapter 2. 13

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CHAPTER 2 REVIEW OF LITERATURE Terror Management Terror management theory (Greenberg, Pyszczynski, & Solomon, 1986) serves as the primary theoretical framework in this study for understanding attitudes toward atheists and religious fundamentalists. Though relatively novel, terror management theory has rapidly gained support in the last 20 years as a tenable psychological theory of human motivation, with more than 300 experiments supporting its central hypotheses (Pyszczynski, Greenberg, Solomon, & Maxfield, 2006). This theory argues that mortality awareness (the knowledge that death is inevitable; a uniquely human capacity) generates the potential for a powerful existential terror. This terror, attributable to the conflict between the desire to survive and awareness of mortality, might destabilize everyday functioning if not somehow constantly kept at bay. Based on the theorizing of cultural anthropologist Ernest Becker (e.g., 1971), terror management theory contends that a considerable portion of human attitudes and behaviors can be traced back to mechanisms that suppress mortality awareness from conscious thought. Specifically, it posits a dual-component anxiety-buffering system that people utilize to manage this terror day-to-day. These components are faith in a cultural worldview (a system of beliefs and values concerning the nature and meaning of existence; including secular and/or religious content) and self-esteem (attained by faithful adherence to this worldview). These psychological structures serve as important defenses by continuously keeping thoughts about death out of conscious awareness. Research has shown that reliance on these defense mechanisms is both unconscious and distal (as opposed to separate death-denying proximal defenses such as denying ones 14

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vulnerability to fatal accidents; Pyszczynski, Greenberg, & Solomon, 1999), and that other conceptually related cognitions (such as uncertainly or fear) do not raise the same defenses (Greenberg, Solomon, & Pyszczynski, 1997). For a comprehensive review of terror management theory, see Solomon, Greenberg, and Pyszczynski (2004). Just as one cannot escape the inevitability of death, one cannot deny that many cultural worldviews exist, secular and religious alike, and that others may construe reality in different ways. Terror management theory argues that this awareness of different cultural worldviews necessitates consensual validation from others in order for the worldview to grant protection from anxiety. Those who have similar cultural beliefs and values can increase confidence in the veracity of ones worldview, while the existence of others who hold differing beliefs can threaten ones confidence in it (and reduce the ability of the worldview to act as an anxiety buffer). One important implication of this theory is its suggestion that in order to deal with these threats, people tend to denigrate, convert, or otherwise eliminate dissimilar others (Pyszczynski et al., 2006). Research has consistently shown that prejudice, social judgments, and interpersonal attraction are unconsciously affected by thoughts of death (see Greenberg, Solomon, & Arndt, 2008 for a comprehensive review of attitudes and behaviors experimentally affected by mortality salience). Two main hypotheses drive much of the research on terror management theory. The mortality salience hypothesis states that if a psychological structure protects against anxiety related to thoughts of death, reminders of mortality (e.g., asking people to contemplate their own death, video footage of a fatal car crash) should increase ones reliance on the structure. Several studies have supported this hypothesis, finding 15

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that people tend to cling more tightly to their worldviews when death is made salient (Greenberg et al., 2008). Of particular relevance is the finding that increasing mortality salience tends to increase bias against outgroups (Greenberg et al., 1997). The complementary anxiety-buffer hypothesis posits that if a psychological structure protects against anxiety related to thoughts of death, weakening this structure should increase accessibility and awareness of death-related thoughts. The evidence suggests that a challenge to ones self-esteem or cultural worldview does indeed increase the accessibility of death thoughts (e.g., Harmon-Jones et al., 1997). These threats include criticism of ones nation, thoughts of a romantic relationship ending, and exposure to disgusting pictures (Greenberg et al., 2008). Pyszczynski, Solomon, and Greenberg (2003) argued that religious beliefs are likely particularly effective at quelling existential anxiety (especially those that are dogmatically held). It is logical to expect religious beliefs to serve as potent defenses against death-related anxiety, mainly because religions typically offer means by which adherents can attain immortality. Recent research has supported this notion (e.g., Norenzayan & Hansen, 2006; Dechesne et al., 2003), and attempts have been made to flesh out the unique relationship between religion and terror management. For example, various mortality salience inductions (such as acts of terrorism in the news) have been shown to increase bias against members of differing religious faiths (Das, Bushman, Bezemer, Kerkhof, & Vermeulen, 2009). Additionally, some varieties of religion were found to protect against the effects of mortality salience (e.g., intrinsically oriented religious persons who actively affirm their faith; Jonas & Fischer, 2006; religious fundamentalism; Friedman & Rholes, 2008). Friedman and Rholes (2007) also found 16

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that when religious fundamentalists beliefs were successfully challenged, death thoughts were more consciously accessible. After presenting participants with material that pointed out inconsistencies in the Christian Bible, the authors found that Christian fundamentalists whose beliefs were successfully challenged had significantly higher death-thought accessibility levels than their non-fundamentalist counterparts, indicating that these religious beliefs were instrumental in keeping thoughts of death at bay. The findings of Friedman and Rholes 2007 study are especially germane to this research because (a) they add to the body of evidence that suggests that religious beliefs are a potent defense against existential anxiety, and (b) they indicate that inducing doubt about the validity of ones religious beliefs impairs the ability of those beliefs to guard against the conscious accessibility of death-related thoughts and existential anxiety. This doubt was raised in religious fundamentalists by offering a logically appealing argument against a core tenet of their beliefs (that the Bible is entirely consistent and free from error). No empirical studies were uncovered that attempted to challenge the beliefs of non-fundamentalists, raising some interesting questions. For example, can inducing doubts about religious beliefs increase death awareness for those with less religious conviction? If so, how salient must this challenge be in order to induce a threat sufficient to undermine the efficacy of religious beliefs in buffering anxiety? Given the number of people who openly express negative attitudes toward atheists and polling trends that suggest some negative attitudes toward fundamentalists, it seems plausible that the words atheist and religious fundamentalist themselves may carry a negative connotation, which might somehow threaten the religious beliefs of 17

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moderately religious persons. Most religious beliefs entail a detailed account of how one may achieve literal or symbolic immortality. Simply thinking of someone with drastically different views of death (such as an atheist who believes in no form of supernatural immortality) may be enough to undermine the efficacy of ones religious beliefs at keeping existential terror at bay. According to terror management theory, the mere existence of others who construe reality differently can threaten the validity of ones worldview and reduce its anxiety-buffering effectiveness (Pyszczynski et al., 2006). Given the proposition that religious ideologies constitute a dynamic, anxiety-buffering worldview, the labels atheist and religious fundamentalist in particular may induce mortality salience effects. It is hypothesized in this study that mere exposure to people who identify as atheists and religious fundamentalists will represent a threat to religious non-fundamentalists beliefs and increase death-thought accessibility. Threatening these beliefs and increasing death-thought awareness, according to terror management theory, increases reliance on other defense mechanisms, such as outgroup derogation (Greenberg et al., 1997). Thus, this finding would support the terror management account of prejudice against these groups. Dogmatism When considering peoples rationales for negative bias against religious fundamentalists, it would be reasonable based on Altemeyer and Hunsbergers (1992) definition to expect some deference to the dogmatic nature of fundamentalists beliefs. No empirical literature was uncovered that addressed this proposition, nor was any uncovered that addressed whether this definition is in fact how people typically conceptualize fundamentalism. Using Altemeyers (1996) definition of dogmatism, relatively unchangeable, unjustifiable certainty and conviction beyond the reach of 18

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evidence to the contrary (p. 201), this study hypothesizes that religious fundamentalists will be perceived as more dogmatic than non-fundamentalists, and that this perception is a predictor of social acceptance. Similarly, no empirical literature was uncovered that addressed how people typically conceptualize atheists. Given the supposition that this bias is rooted in a basic distrust of those without religious beliefs (Edgell et al., 2006), and given that people tend to rate those who identify as not religious more positively than those who identify as an atheist (Pew Research Center, 2003), it is plausible that these attitudes may be partially driven by the perception that atheists are particularly dogmatic in their metaphysical beliefs (i.e., unwaveringly certain of the veracity of their worldview). Thus, this study tests the hypothesis that atheists are also perceived as highly dogmatic when compared to non-fundamentalist theists, and that this perception is also a predictor of social acceptance. These findings would be consistent with terror management theory. Making mortality salient has been shown to increase negative evaluations of and aggression toward those with a dissimilar worldview, perceived consensus for ones beliefs, and compensatory zeal (Greenberg et al., 1997; McGregor, Zanna, Holmes, & Spencer, 2001). An extension of these mortality salience findings could be that when mortality is made salient, those with dissimilar worldviews are seen as more dogmatic. This would provide another link between bias against religious fundamentalists and against atheists. Hypotheses This study has three main research aims: (1) to replicate and extend previous research on negative attitudes toward atheists by examining attitudes toward various 19

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religiosity identifications, (2) to test formally the hypothesis that both atheists and religious fundamentalists are evaluated more negatively than those with non-fundamentalist religious beliefs, and (3) to explore the potential role of terror management in the formation and maintenance of these attitudes, especially with regard to perceived dogmatism. The following four hypotheses addressed these aims: Hypothesis 1: Persons presented as atheists and as religious fundamentalists will receive more negative evaluations than those labeled as not religious, agnostic, somewhat religious, or very religious. Hypothesis 2: Persons described as atheists and as religious fundamentalists will be perceived as more dogmatic than those labeled as not religious, agnostic, somewhat religious, or very religious. Hypothesis 3: Participants exposed to persons labeled as atheists or religious fundamentalists will show higher death-thought accessibility after exposure than participants exposed to persons with other religiosity labels. Hypothesis 4: The interaction between perceived dogmatism and death-thought accessibility will significantly predict attitudinal evaluations of the target person. 20

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CHAPTER 3 METHOD Sample Characteristics and Procedure A sample of 541 participants over the age of 18 was recruited from undergraduate psychology courses at three large southeastern institutions of higher education (The University of Florida, The University of Central Florida, and Broward College). No significant differences were found between the three colleges (absolute t values < 1.90, ps > .05) for all but one of the measured variables. A significant difference emerged between participants at The University of Central Florida and Broward College for participants scores on the DOG scale of dogmatic thinking [t(406) =-2.17, p = 0.03]. The only exclusion criterion was being younger than age 18. A sample of over 500 participants, or 35 participants per survey condition (if the conditions could not be collapsed), was originally sought to power the study sufficiently. The survey was administered entirely online. Extra credit in psychology courses was provided for participation. The average age for participants was 23.06 (SD = 5.70; range = 18-53 years), and most (77.4%) participants identified as female. Education ranged from 12 to 23 years, with an average of 14.73 years (SD = 1.56). Ethnic identification of the sample is as follows: White, European American (61%), Hispanic/Latin American (15%), Black/African American (9.6%), Multicultural/Mixed (6%), Asian/Asian American (4.9%), other (3.3%), Native American (0.2%). Participant religiosity was measured on a 7-point Likert-type scale (ranging from 1not at all religious to 7 very religious; M = 3.59, SD = 1.83). 21

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Measures Self-Esteem Immediately following informed consent, participants were asked to complete the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale (Rosenberg, 1965). This 10-item scale is meant to measure unidimensional, global self-esteem, and is scored on a 4-point Likert-type scale. Rosenberg (1965) established construct validity by reporting significant correlations between the scale and related constructs (such as depression and peer-group reputation). Shahani, Dipboye, and Phillips (1990) reported a Cronbachs of .80. This scale is included because of relevant terror management theory findings showing that those with high self-esteem were less susceptible to mortality salience manipulations (e.g., Greenberg et al., 1997). Self-Descriptions Two fictional self-descriptions were written for this study (named Sam and Tom; see Appendix A) to generalize beyond the particular attributes associated with one fictitious person. There are seven versions of each description, varying only on religiosity: Sam/Tom is either (1) an atheist, (2) not religious, (3) agnostic, (4) somewhat religious, (5) very religious, (6) a religious fundamentalist, or (7) his religiosity is unspecified. Each participant received only 1 of the 14 descriptions to read. After they were presented with the self-description, participants were asked to provide their thoughts about the fictitious person by answering some questions, and were assured that their responses would never be read by anyone other than the researchers. No significant differences were found between the two self-descriptions for all but two of the measured variables (absolute t values < 1.30, ps > .05). Significant differences emerged for both scores on the Interpersonal Judgment Scale [t(530) = -2.69, p < .01] 22

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and death-thought accessibility scores [t(510) = -2.45, p < .05]. Consequently, self-description version (Sam or Tom) was included as a covariate when either of these measures served as a dependent variable in the analyses. Thus, variance associated with the particular attributes of a character was statistically controlled. Evaluations Three separate measures were selected to assess participants attitudes toward the presented person. First, a semantic differential measure assessed overall positive/negative evaluations of the person. Each adjective pair (good/bad, wise/foolish, warm/cold, moral/immoral, pleasant/unpleasant) represents a trait spectrum with both positive and negative poles, and is meant to measure connotative meaning of and attitude toward an object (Osgood, Suci, & Tannenbaum, 1957). Each pair is scored on a seven-point Likert-type scale (+3 to -3). Scores from each adjective pair were added together to form a total positive/negative evaluation score. Next, the Interpersonal Judgment Scale (Byrne, 1971) assessed interpersonal liking. The instrument consists of two items (asking how much participants think they would like the target person and how much participants would like to work with the target person in an experiment) scored on 7-point Likert-type scale and added together for a total score between 2 and 14. Four filler items are included to mask the intent of the scale. This two-item measure has been used extensively in attraction research (Tardy, 1988), and has yielded a split-half reliability of .85 (Byrne & Nelson, 1965). Finally, explicit biases were measured using two items used by Edgell et al. (2006) in national polls to capture public and private acceptance. The two items are as follows: 1. Atheists do not at all share my vision of an American society. (Public) 2. I would disapprove if my child married an atheist. (Private) 23

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Each item is scored on a 5-point Likert-type scale of Strongly Agree (1) to Strongly Disagree (5). Since these two items purportedly tap into separate dimensions of social acceptance, each was treated as a separate dependent variable. Confirmatory factor analysis failed to strongly support a single factor structure of social acceptance for these four measured indicators of evaluation [Minimum discrepancy/degrees of freedom ratio = 17.21, RMR = .21, GFI = .97, AGFI = .84, PGFI = .19, NFI delta1 = .92; RFI rho1 = .75; IFI delta2 = .92; TLI rho2 = .75; CFI = .92, RMSEA = .18, Hoelter index (.01) = 140; listwise deletion was used for this analysis]. Given the weak model fit, and given that these indicators may well measure slightly different constructs, all four measures were considered as separate dependent variables in the analyses that follow. Death-Thought Accessibility and Delay The measure of death-thought accessibility comes from Greenberg, Pyszczynski, Solomon, Simon, and Breus (1994) and consists of 20 word completion items, eight of which can be completed with either death-related or neutral words. For example, participants saw the letters COFF and could complete the word with a death-related word, coffin, or a neutral word, coffee. The rest of the words are simply fillers. The number of these target words completed with death-related terms was added up for a total score for each participant ranging from 0-8. Evidence from empirical investigations of the psychodynamics of terror management suggests that death-thought accessibility is low immediately following a mortality salience induction, but high after a delay (typically 3 minutes; Arndt, Cook, & Routledge, 2004). The Growing Stone (an excerpt from a novel which typically takes several minutes to read; (Greenberg et al., 1997) was chosen as the delay for this 24

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study. Participants were asked to first read the passage, and then to answer two questions regarding the descriptive qualities of the story and the supposed gender of the author. These items were not used in analyses. Negative Affect The Positive Affect and Negative Affect Schedule (PANAS; Watson, Clark, & Tellegen, 1988) is comprised of two scales designed to measure two dominant independent constructs: positive affect and negative affect. Each scale contains 10 emotion words (such as interested, nervous, and upset). When presented with each word, participants are asked to rate the extent to which they feel that emotion presently (very slightly or not at all, a little, moderately, quite a bit, or extremely). Each subscale produces a total score between 10 and 50. Watson et al. (1988) have reported that the two subscales are largely uncorrelated (r = -.09), and that both scales of the PANAS demonstrate acceptable internal consistency reliability (Cronbachs .86 for positive affect and .87 for negative affect), test-retest reliability, and factorial, convergent, and discriminant validity. The PANAS is included in this study because of relevant terror management theory findings that suggest that negative affect is unaffected by mortality salience primes (Greenberg et al., 2003). Thus, it serves as an additional manipulation check. Dogmatic Thinking To capture how dogmatic the presented person is perceived to be by participants, Altemeyers (2002) DOG scale was administered twice; once to assess participants level of dogmatic thinking, and again with the explicit instructions that participants are to fill out the scale as they think that Sam/Tom would. This approach is similar to the method used by Altemeyer in 1996 with the Right-Wing Authoritarianism Scale to 25

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assess how authoritarian a given person is perceived to be. The DOG scale consists of 20 items scored on a 9-point Likert-type scale (yielding a score between 20 and 180). The DOG scale yielded a Cronbachs of .90, and Crowson, DeBacker, and Davis (2008) found that the DOG scale demonstrated acceptable factorial, convergent, criterion-related, and discriminant validity. 26

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CHAPTER 4 RESULTS All but three of ten measured variables were approximately univariate normal (i.e., all had absolute skewness and kurtosis values less than 1.0). The semantic differential measure and Interpersonal Judgment scale demonstrated acceptable normality after trimming outliers whose residuals were more than three standard deviations away from their predicted value in regression equations (1 and 2 outliers removed, respectively; Field, 2009), as did the Negative Affect subscale of the PANAS after the inverse transformation was applied. Unless otherwise noted, listwise deletion was used in all analyses. Hypothesis 1 To test the first hypothesis (that persons presented as atheists and as religious fundamentalists will receive more negative evaluations than those with other religiosity labels), a multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) was conducted using religiosity label (two levels; atheists and religious fundamentalists vs. all other religiosity labels) as a predictor of scores on the Interpersonal Liking Scale, the semantic differential measure, and the two items measuring explicit public and private acceptance biases (Edgell et al., 2006). Given that Hypothesis 1 was both specific and directional, these two levels of the religiosity label factor (atheist and religious fundamentalist) were combined to allow for the most powerful omnibus test possible before any attempt to decompose the trend. The Box-M test was used to assess the homogeneity of variance-covariance matrices across design cells assumption, which produced a non-significant result [indicating that the assumption held; F(389,575.88) = 9.22, p > .05], and Levenes tests 27

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similarly found that the assumption of homogeneity of variance could be supported for each of the DVs separately (all ps > .05). Given the unbalanced group dispersion, however, the relatively conservative Pillais Trace was used for the estimation of the omnibus F-statistic. Residual correlations between the DVs were all less than .50, suggesting moderate dependence of the DVs. The overall MANOVA failed to reveal a significant main effect for religiosity label [F(4,517) = 1.60, p = .17, p 2 = .01]. Character description version (Sam vs. Tom) did not emerge as a significant covariate [F(4,517) = 2.16, p > .05, p 2 = .02]. As the preceding analysis tested only one specific, directional hypothesis regarding the relationship between religiosity and attitudinal evaluations, a second exploratory MANOVA was conducted in an attempt to uncover other trends in the data; this time religiosity had all seven levels, not two (as was done in the original analysis). Again, religiosity was used to predict scores on the Interpersonal Liking Scale, the semantic differential measure, and the two items measuring public and private acceptance. The Box-M test produced a significant result [F(408,349.23) = 89.10, p < .05], and a Levenes test found that the assumption of homogeneity of variance could not be supported for the private acceptance item (p < .05). Given the significance of the Box-M test, Pillais trace is used for the estimation of F-statistics in the analysis that follows. Residual correlations between DVs were moderate (rs < .51). The overall MANOVA found a significant main effect for religiosity label [F(24,2064) = 3.56, p < .001, p 2 = .04], indicating a small effect size. Follow-up univariate analyses of variance (ANOVAs) were conducted separately for each DV to 28

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examine the location of significant mean differences. To control for inflation of family-wise error, each univariate ANOVA was tested at = .01. Significant main effects of religiosity label were found for the semantic differential measure [F(6, 515) = 5.81, p < .001, 2 = .06, a medium effect size] and Edgell et al.s (2006) public acceptance item [F(6, 515) = 4.27, p < .001, 2 = .05, a small effect size] only. Character description version (Sam vs. Tom) did not emerge as a significant covariate [F(4, 512) = 2.18, p > .05, p 2 = .02]. Semantic Differentials For the semantic differential measure, Bonferroni-adjusted post hoc tests revealed significant mean differences between the following conditions (ps < .05; means and standard deviations are presented in Table 4-1, and Figure 4-1 displays the pattern of means graphically): Religious fundamentalist (more favorable) and atheist (less favorable) Very religious (more favorable) and (1) atheist, (2) not religious, and (3) somewhat religious (all less favorable) Public Acceptance For the public acceptance item, Bonferroni-adjusted post hoc tests revealed significant mean differences between the following conditions (ps < .05; means and standard deviations are presented in Table 4-1, and Figure 4-2 displays the pattern of means graphically): Not specified (more favorable) and (1) atheist, (2) not religious, (3) very religious, and (4) religious fundamentalist (all less favorable). No other significant differences emerged for this variable. 29

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Hypothesis 2 To test the second hypothesis (that persons presented as atheists and as religious fundamentalists will be perceived as more dogmatic than those labeled as not religious, agnostic, somewhat religious, or very religious), a one-way, between-subjects analysis of variance (ANOVA) was conducted using religiosity label (two levels; atheists and religious fundamentalists vs. all other religiosity labels) as a predictor of participants ratings of Sam/Tom on the DOG scale. A Levenes test produced a non-significant result [F(1,464) = 3.63, p > .05), indicating that the assumption of homogeneity of variance held. The ANOVA revealed a significant main effect of character religiosity on perceived dogmatism [F(1, 464) = 5.00, p < .05, p 2 = .01] such that atheists and religious fundamentalists (M = 96.53, SD = 26.05) were perceived as more dogmatic than other religiosity labels (M = 90.25, SD = 30.14). To decompose this trend, a second exploratory ANOVA was conducted using all seven levels of religiosity instead of two (as was done in the original analysis). This ANOVA revealed a significant main effect of character religiosity on participants ratings of Sam/Tom on the DOG scale, F(6, 418.05) = 26.95, p < .001, 2 = .26, indicating a large effect size (Levene statistic = 3.93, p = .001; Brown-Forsyth F-ratio is reported). Games-Howell post hoc tests revealed that the very religious and religious fundamentalist characters received significantly higher scores on the DOG scale than all other religiosity conditions (p < .05). No other significant differences emerged. Means are presented in Table 4-2. Figure 4-3 displays the pattern of means graphically. Hypothesis 3 To test the third hypothesis (that participants exposed to persons labeled as atheists or religious fundamentalists will show higher death-thought accessibility after 30

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exposure than participants exposed to persons with other religiosity labels), a one-way between subjects ANOVA was conducted using religiosity label (two levels; atheists and religious fundamentalists vs. all other religiosity labels) as a predictor of death-thought accessibility scores. A Levenes test produced a non-significant result [F(1,510) = .52, p > .05), indicating that the assumption of homogeneity of variance held. The ANOVA failed to find a significant main effect of character religiosity on death-thought accessibility scores [F(1, 519) = .05, p > .05]. Character description version (Sam vs. Tom) did emerge as a significant covariate [F(1, 509) = 6.01, p > .05], though its effect was small ( p 2 = .01). A follow-up exploratory ANOVA was then conducted (tested at = .025 to control for family-wise error inflation) again using all seven levels of religiosity instead of two (as was done in the original analysis). A Levenes test produced a non-significant result [F(6,505) = .30, p > .05), indicating that the assumption of homogeneity of variance held. The ANOVA again failed to find a significant main effect of character religiosity on death-thought accessibility scores [F(6, 504) = 1.83, p > .025]. Character description version (Sam vs. Tom) again emerged as a significant covariate [F(1, 504) = 6.23, p > .05, p 2 = .01], though its effect was again small. Given these non-significant findings, no other relevant terror management theory constructs (i.e., self-esteem, negative affect) were examined. Hypothesis 4 To test the fourth hypothesis (that the interaction between perceived dogmatism and death-thought accessibility will significantly predict attitudinal evaluations of Sam/Tom), a multivariate multiple regression was conducted using the residuals that 31

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resulted after statistically controlling for the main effects of death-thought accessibility scores and perceived dogmatism (thus controlling for multicollinearity and isolating the unique effect of the interaction) as predictors of semantic differential measure scores and public acceptance item scores (the two acceptance variables that emerged as significant in preceding analyses). Although the omnibus test produced a significant result for the effect of the residualized interaction term on the DVs [Pillais Trace F(2,440) = 4.05, p < .05], follow-up univariate analyses revealed that the effect was not statistically significant in either of the DVs separately (ps > .05). 32

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Table 4-1. Means and standard deviations for the semantic differential measure and public acceptance item by Sam/Toms religiosity label Religiosity Label Semantic Differential Mean Semantic Differential SD Public Acceptance Mean Public Acceptance SD N Not Specified 27.38 4.01 3.45 .75 71 Atheist 25.92 3.87 2.89 1.02 75 Agnostic 27.47 3.76 3.16 .78 76 Not Religious 26.85 3.40 2.91 .96 68 Somewhat Religious 27.22 4.12 3.15 .81 74 Very Religious 29.27 3.67 2.88 1.03 84 Religious Fundamentalist 28.21 4.13 2.91 .83 75 Note. Both variables are coded such that higher scores denote more positive ratings; on the semantic differential measure, higher scores indicate more positive ratings, and for the public acceptance item, higher scores indicate less bias. Scores on the semantic differential measure ranged from 7-35, and scores on the public acceptance item ranged from 1-5. Table 4-2. Means and standard deviations for the perceived DOG scale by Sam/Toms religiosity label Religiosity Label DOG Scale Mean DOG Scale SD N Not Specified 83.77 20.26 62 Atheist 84.45 24.83 64 Agnostic 79.15 19.95 68 Not Religious 81.15 18.46 59 Somewhat Religious 86.33 22.49 70 Very Religious 116.13 26.46 76 Religious Fundamentalist 108.06 30.40 67 Note. Higher scores denote more perceived dogmatism; scores ranged from 26-179. 33

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Figure 4-1. Means plot of semantic differential score by religiosity label Figure 4-2. Means plot of the public acceptance item by religiosity label 34

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Figure 4-3. Means plot of scores on the perceived DOG scale by religiosity label 35

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CHAPTER 5 DISCUSSION Attitudes Toward Atheists and Religious Fundamentalists: Scylla and Charybdis? This research partially replicates previous findings that demonstrated that atheists are viewed more negatively than their theistic counterparts. In this sample, fictitious characters identified as atheists received more negative evaluations than fictitious characters in any other condition, though the significance and magnitude of this effect varied by measure. For the semantic differential measure, employed to capture an overall positive/negative evaluation of the fictitious character, the atheist condition received only significantly lower evaluations than the very religious and religious fundamentalist conditions (the atheist condition was not significantly lower than the control condition). For the public acceptance item ( He probably does not agree with my vision of how society should run), participants indicated significantly higher agreement with the statement (i.e., more bias) for the atheist condition than for the control group, but no significant differences emerged between religiosity conditions Surprisingly, there was no effect of religiosity identification on interpersonal liking (as measured by the Interpersonal Judgment scale) or on the private acceptance item ( I would disapprove if he were to become a part of my family through marriage) Several factors may help explain the differences between this studys findings and national polling data over the last 50 years. One may be the way in which the religiosity identification is presented. In polling studies, questions about atheists were often presented in isolation, without reference to a specific person or situation. For example, in the data analyzed by Edgell et al. (2006), which came from the American Mosaic Project, the wording of the private acceptance item was as follows: 36

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People can feel differently about their children marrying people from various backgrounds. Suppose your son or daughter wanted to marry [an atheist]. Would you approve of this choice, disapprove of it, or wouldnt it make any difference at all one way or the other? (p. 217). Given this wording, 47.6% of their sample said that they would disapprove. In this studys sample, 19.5% of participants indicated that they would disapprove of Sam or Tom (identified as an atheist) becoming a part of their family through marriage. This large discrepancy certainly calls for an explanation. One possible explanation is that there was a difference in the stimuli presented to participants between the studies. Whereas participants in the American Mosaic Project were asked about atheists in general, this study asked participants to consider a particular atheist: Sam or Tom. Sam and Tom each had a substantial biography and back-story, which may have moderated the stereotyping that often occurs when considering a group as a whole (e.g., these characters may have been viewed as exceptions, rather than as representatives). Several other methodological explanations for this discrepancy are possible as well, including cohort, time, age, and regional differences. Data from the Edgell et al. (2006) study came from a nationally representative sample of more than 2,000 participants, stratified for equal representation of racial groups, obtained by random-digit dialing in 2003. It is unclear whether their results would hold true for the sample utilized in this study, even if administration was identical. Socially desirable responding and differences between college and national samples are also plausible explanations for this discrepancy. This samples responses are nonetheless consistent with the notion that Americans exhibit a bias against atheists. The larger goal of this study was to reproduce the global attitudinal patterns produced by multiple national polls, which seem to indicate that although a linear 37

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relationship between religiosity and social acceptance does exist, there is a diminishing return (and perhaps even a slight trend reversal) for religious fundamentalists. Using these polling data as a guide, this study hypothesized that in order to gain social acceptance in American society, one must navigate between the Scylla of atheism, and (to a lesser extent) the Charybdis of religious zeal. This hypothesis (Hypothesis 1) was not supported, and a different story emerged. First, these findings do not support the notion that Americans make a binary distinction between theists and atheists. Instead, they suggest variability within those who espouse religious beliefs such that stronger belief may confer more positive evaluations (including fundamentalism). Fictitious characters identified as religious fundamentalists received very high evaluations on the semantic differential measure relative to other characters (though only significantly higher than atheists). For the public acceptance item, however, bias against fundamentalists was significantly higher than against controls. Again, no main effect was found of religiosity identification on interpersonal liking or on the private acceptance item. Identifying as a religious fundamentalist did not seem to have a deleterious effect on others attitudinal evaluations in this study, though this effect it did not necessarily translate into increased social acceptance. Knowing exactly what participants had in mind when thinking of Sam or Tom as a religious fundamentalist would likely elucidate this effect; further research is needed to determine whether subjective definitions of fundamentalist are homogenous. Further, giving a specific context and face to the label may have influenced participants responses. On the other hand, not having done so in polling data raises questions regarding the generalizability of those findings to real-world contexts, which involve particular people, not just broad labels about people. 38

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This finding also has implications for understanding negative attitudes toward atheists. Given this linear trend, it may be that negative attitudes toward atheists are driven more by positive attitudes toward religious faith, rather than by negative attitudes toward atheists in particular. Connotations of fundamentalist could be positive, such that people may engage in upward social comparison when thinking about those with fervent religious conviction. Thus, in this sample, labeling ones self as an atheist may represent a Scylla-esque social hazard, but, as far as religiosity identification is concerned, Charybdis is nowhere in sight. Dogmatism Based on the idea that atheists and religious fundamentalists may be particularly threatening to people because of how certain about their beliefs people perceive them to be, and based on terror management theory suppositions, dogmatism was explored as a possible predictor of negative attitudes toward atheists and religious fundamentalists (Hypothesis 2). There was a significant omnibus effect of religiosity identification of perceived dogmatism, however post hoc analyses and the pattern of means do not support the notion that perceived dogmatism drives negative attitudes toward atheists. Instead, it appears as though two distinct groups emerged: those with strong religious beliefs, and everyone else. The pattern of means (semantic differential scores and scores on the perceived DOG scale; see Table 5-1) suggests that those who identify as very religious or as a religious fundamentalists are perceived as more dogmatic than their less religious counterparts, even though they received more positive evaluations (restriction of range prevented use of bivariate correlations between the two variables across all conditions). Thus, seeing someone as dogmatic did not seem to have deleterious effects on participants evaluations of them. This unexpected finding 39

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may have implications for both research and practice in psychology, as well as for other disciplines investigating religion, belief, and prejudice. In this study, seeing someone as avowing relatively unchangeable, unjustifiable certainty (Altemeyer, 1996, p. 201) did not deter positive social evaluations (and may even have enhanced them). Replication of this effect is needed. Terror Management The terror management hypotheses in this study were contingent upon four assumptions: (1) that mortality salience and heightened existential terror can be unconsciously induced by reminders of human mortality, (2) that religious beliefs can serve as particularly potent terror management defenses, (3) that making mortality salient tends to increase derogation of outgroups, and (4) that weakening defenses can heighten the effects of mortality salience by reducing the efficacy of anxiety-buffers (see Greenberg, Solomon, & Arndt, 2008 for a review of evidence supporting these assumptions). Thus, it was hypothesized that participants exposed to persons labeled as atheists or religious fundamentalists would show higher death-thought accessibility after exposure than participants exposed to persons with other religiosity labels (Hypothesis 3). This finding would have provided support for a terror management account of prejudice toward atheists (and religious fundamentalists, had the effect been present). In this sample, however, no religiosity identification had an effect on death-thought awareness (Hypothesis 3), nor was there evidence of an interaction between perceived dogmatism and death thought accessibility (Hypothesis 4). These non-significant findings could have resulted for several reasons. First, the threshold for potency of mortality salience inductions is unknown; no uncovered empirical literature addressed specifically the minimum necessary conditions for either 40

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making mortality salient, or for challenging the veracity of ones beliefs (i.e., undermining the anxiety-buffering effects of self-esteem). This study was in part an attempt to determine just how subtle a prime is necessary to create the unconscious condition of existential terror, as well to determine whether religious primes work at all in this capacity. Presenting someone with a biography of a reasonably likable person who identifies as an atheist or religious fundamentalist did not appear to induce mortality salience, but this fact does not negate the possibility that these labels can produce the effect. It is clear from effects of the manipulation on other measures that participants did indeed react to the characters religiosity. Other factors, such as the fact that this survey was administered entirely online (no uncovered published studies have used this medium), may have interfered with the priming of mortality salience. Determining whether mortality salience can in fact be manipulated via online surveys would be helpful. Using other methods and mediums to induce mortality salience may prove useful, as well. For example, primes of single words or phrases (such as /11) have been shown to increase mortality salience (Pyszczynski, Solomon, & Greenberg, 2003) when participants processed them subliminally. Attempting subliminal priming with the religiosity identifications used in this study may be a fruitful next step. Limitations and Suggestions for Future Research This study had several notable limitations. First, the use of a collegiate convenience sample may have restricted generalizability. College students may represent a distinct population with regard to religiosity and religious biases. A closely related concern is that education may be a factor (education was explored as a covariate in the analyses presented in Chapter 4; though it never emerged as 41

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significant, restriction of range may have been a problem). Replication on a more nationally representative sample is needed to address this generalizability concern. As the sample in this study was predominantly female (77.4%), one possible interpretation of these findings is that women may have viewed religiosity differently than men (especially given that the fictitious character was identified as male), and that this effect could be obscured by a sample comprised mainly of women. Gender was therefore examined in post hoc analyses to determine whether reactions to the character differed by gender within each condition. No significant interaction effects between gender and religiosity label were found for any of the dependent variables examined in this study. Further, gender was examined as a covariate in all analyses to determine whether the pattern of results held when assuming equality in men and womens responses. Two minor changes emerged: (1) the mean difference between not specified and very religious conditions became significant for the semantic differential measure, and (2) the mean difference between the not specified and not religious conditions was no longer significant for the public acceptance item (ps < .05). Thus, when assuming that men and women responded to the religiosity manipulations in equal measure, the pattern of findings is largely stable, suggesting that the same trends hold true for men as well. Another potential limitation of note is that this sample came from three (perhaps non-equivalent) institutions of higher learning. As previously mentioned, no significant differences were found between institutions for any of the dependent variables used in analyses. Further, there were no significant interactions were found between institution and religiosity of the target in any analyses, nor did the overall patterns of significance change when institution was added as a covariate (with one exception: the mean 42

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difference between the not specified and not religious conditions was no longer significant for the public acceptance item, p < .05). Thus, it appears that these findings hold true for participants at each of the three sampling sources, though it is important to note that national generalizability may still be limited (participants form these three institutions may not represent all college students). Replication with a more nationally representative sample is recommended. Another limitation has to do with the validity and reliability of national polling data (and of the items adapted from polling studies for this research; namely the public and private acceptance items; Edgell et al., 2006). Because no such reliability and validity data were reported, it is unknown whether these items are good measures of their intended constructs. The inclusion of other, more reliable and valid, measures was meant to correct for this. Further, as mentioned in Chapter 5, it is unclear whether the results obtained by Edgell et al. (2006) would be reproduced with a sample similar to that used in this study, even with identical question wording; cohort, time, age, and regional effects may change the pattern of results. Thus, comparing the findings of this study to those of the American Mosaic Project, while interesting, may not be particularly informative. Another salient limitation is that two theoretically-related constructs, interpersonal liking and attitudinal evaluation (r = .49, p < .01), produced different patterns of statistical significance, suggesting the need for further examination of the role of religiosity in predicting each and a conceptualization of these differing patterns of association. As empirical investigations of attitudes toward atheists (and religious beliefs in general) are scarce, replication and further investigations in this domain are needed. While this study investigated the overall pattern of attitudinal evaluations toward various religiosity identifications, it is possible that participant variables could moderate 43

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the trends. For instance, the faith of the participant may interact with the faith of the prime to produce the outcome effects (i.e., do participants who identify as atheists answer differently than those who identify as Evangelical Christians?). It is recommended that future studies begin with theory-driven hypotheses to answer these questions, as this may lead to new theoretical understandings of this phenomenon. Regarding the character descriptions, it is unclear how people conceptualized the various undefined religiosity identifications of Sam and Tom. For example, two respondents could have had drastically different understandings of somewhat religious. Future research in this area might be better served by exploring peoples differing ideas about religiosity. Further, cultural variables may have interacted with participants conceptualizations. For example, it is unclear whether fictitious character descriptions of people who were clearly identified as being members of marginalized groups would have produced different results. This notion of intersecting marginalities has been suggested to confer additional social exclusion and bias (e.g., Nelson & Probst, 2009). Finally, the effect sizes presented in this research are generally small to medium in magnitude. Though the effects are statistically significant, other predictors of the dependent variables studied here may improve the proportion of variance accounted for. First, however, it may be prudent to adjust for other potential confounding variables (such as socially desirable responding, giving the characters a likable biography, and using a convenience sample) to determine whether these effect sizes are reliable. Conclusion This study found support for a general bias against atheists on an attitude measure, but not on all measures. Further research is needed to examine causes and 44

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correlates of the formation and maintenance of these attitudes. Second, calling oneself a religious fundamentalist did not have deleterious effects on attitudinal evaluations in this sample, especially as measured by a semantic differential measure. This finding may be a function of upward social comparison, or a function of specific conceptualizations of fundamentalism (which was unmeasured in this study). Third, attitudes toward a fictitious character were not more negative when the character was perceived as relatively dogmatic and religious. Finally, presenting participants with a biography of a person who identifies as an atheist or a religious fundamentalist did not appear to trigger death-thought awareness in this sample. Further exploration of religious mortality salience primes is needed, and may be informed by the findings of this study. 45

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Table 5-1. Semantic Differential and DOG Scale Means by Religiosity Label Mean SD N Sam/Tom Religiosity Semantic Differentials DOG Scale Semantic Differentials DOG Scale Semantic Differentials DOG Scale Not Specified 27.35 83.77 4.01 20.26 71 62 Atheist 25.92 84.45 3.87 24.83 75 64 Agnostic 27.47 79.15 3.76 19.95 76 68 Not Religious 26.82 81.15 3.38 18.46 68 59 Somewhat Religious 27.22 86.33 4.12 22.49 74 70 Very Religious 29.10 116.13 3.67 26.46 84 76 Religious Fundamentalist 28.16 108.06 4.13 30.40 75 67 Note. Scores on the semantic differential measure ranged from 7-35, and scores on the DOG scale ranged from 26-179. 46

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APPENDIX A SELF-DESCRIPTIONS Sam I am 22 years old, just finishing up my senior year of college at the University of Florida. Ill be graduating with a bachelors degree in architecture. Im still not sure where Ill be working when I graduate. Ive always wanted to live in California, so I think I might start looking for a job there. Im also thinking about graduate school for architecture, Im not sure yet. Im taking part in this study in order to earn credits toward a class that I am taking this semester. In my spare time, I like to run, sometimes competitively in marathons, and just hang out with friends. I describe myself as [Insert religiosity], and I think that most people would describe me as an energetic, friendly person. Tom I am 23 years old, and I work for the newspaper in [city name omitted]. I've been working for this newspaper since I graduated the University of Florida last year, and I'm very happy with my career choice. I really enjoy working in print media, but someday I'd like to run a completely online-based news outlet. I've thought about going to grad school, but I'm just not sure yet. In my spare time, I love to travel. Thailand has been my favorite destination so far, and I'm hoping to return soon for a longer trip. I also enjoy painting and sculpting, and just hanging out with friends. I describe myself as [Insert religiosity], and I think that people would describe me as an energetic, friendly person. 47

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APPENDIX B SURVEY A Study of Interpersonal Liking and Personality Welcome! Thank you for taking the time to participate in this study. There are several tasks for you to complete in this survey. Some of the tasks and questions will be used to assess your personality, and others will assess your attitudes about various issues (each page of the survey will have specific instructions). It should take 15-20 minutes to complete. Please follow the instructions provided and complete the questionnaires in the order they are presented. That is, please do not skip around. This first page has ten statements for you to consider. The list of statements below deals with your general feelings about yourself. If you STRONGLY AGREE, circle SA If you AGREE with the statement, circle A If you DISAGREE, circle D If you STRONGLY DISAGREE, circle SD 1. On the whole, I am satisfied with myself. SA A D SD 2. At times, I think I am no good at all. SA A D SD 3. I feel that I have a number of good qualities. SA A D SD 4. I am able to do things as well as most other people. SA A D SD 5. I feel I do not have much to be proud of. SA A D SD 6. I certainly feel useless at times. SA A D SD 7. I feel that Im a person of worth, at least on an equal plane with others. SA A D SD 8. I wish I could have more respect for myself. SA A D SD 9. All in all, I am inclined to feel that I am a failure. SA A D SD 10. I take a positive attitude toward myself. SA A D SD 48

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Personality Task: For this section of the survey, we would like you to read an introduction written by a previous participant in our research (the writers real name has been replaced with the name Sam to protect his/her identity). Sam was asked to write a brief description of himself that would be read by a future research participant (you). He was asked to include his age, level of education, career aspirations, religious beliefs, hobbies, and any other information that he thought might be relevant for a stranger to know about him (but no identifying information). Please read Sams description of himself: Sam I am 22 years old, just finishing up my senior year of college. Ill be graduating with a bachelors degree in architecture. Im still not sure where Ill be working when I graduate. Ive always wanted to live in California, so I think I might start looking for a job there. Im also thinking about graduate school for architecture, Im not sure yet. Im taking part in this study in order to earn credits toward a class that I am taking this semester. In my spare time, I like to run, sometimes competitively in marathons, and just hang out with friends. I describe myself as a [insert religiosity], and I think that most people would describe me as an energetic, friendly person. We are interested in your thoughts about Sam. Given only this information about him, please do your best to answer the questions below. ALL OF YOUR RESPONSES WILL BE KEPT STRICTLY CONFIDENTIAL (we will NOT share your thoughts about Sam with anyone). When you are done, please click the Next button to continue to the next section of the study. For the following 5 questions, please indicate on the scale ranging from -3 to +3 where you think Sam would fall for a particular characteristic. For example, if you think that Sam is Extremely Good, choose +3. If you think that Sam is Slightly Good, choose +1, and so on. Sam Good +3 +2 +1 0 -1 -2 -3 Bad Wise +3 +2 +1 0 -1 -2 -3 Foolish Warm +3 +2 +1 0 -1 -2 -3 Cold Moral +3 +2 +1 0 -1 -2 -3 Immoral Pleasant +3 +2 +1 0 -1 -2 -3 Unpleasant 49

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Now, please choose the answer to the following questions that most closely reflects how you feel about Sam: 1. Intelligence: I believe that this person is __________________ a. Very much above average in intelligence b. Above average in intelligence c. Slightly above average in intelligence d. Average in intelligence e. Slightly below average in intelligence f. Below average in intelligence g. Very much below average in intelligence 2. Knowledge of Current Events: I believe that this person is ___________________ a. Very much above average in his knowledge of current events b. Above average in his knowledge of current events c. Slightly above average in his knowledge of current events d. Average in his knowledge of current events e. Slightly below average in his knowledge of current events f. Below average in his knowledge of current events g. Very much below average in his knowledge of current events 3. Morality: This person impresses me as being a. Extremely moral b. Moral c. Moral to a slight degree d. Neither particularly moral nor particularly immoral e. Immoral to a slight degree f. Immoral g. Extremely Immoral 4. Adjustment: I believe that this person is ___________________ a. Extremely well adjusted b. Well adjusted c. Well adjusted to a slight degree d. Neither particularly well adjusted nor particularly maladjusted e. Maladjusted to a slight degree f. Maladjusted g. Extremely maladjusted 50

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5. Personal Feelings: I feel that I would probably ____________________ a. Like this person very much b. Like this person c. Like this person to a slight degree d. Neither particularly like nor dislike this person e. Dislike this person to a slight degree f. Dislike this person g. Dislike this person very much 6. Working Together: I believe that I would _______________________ a. Very much enjoy working with this person in an experiment b. Enjoy working with this person in an experiment c. Enjoy working with this person in an experiment to a slight degree d. Neither particularly enjoy nor particularly dislike working with this person in an experiment e. Dislike working with this person in an experiment to a slight degree f. Dislike working with this person in an experiment g. Very much dislike working with this person in an experiment 7. Society: He probably does not agree with my vision of how society should run. a. Strongly agree b. Agree c. Neither agree nor disagree d. Disagree e. Strongly Disagree 8. Marriage: I would disapprove if he were to become a part of my family through marriage. a. Strongly agree b. Agree c. Neither agree nor disagree d. Disagree e. Strongly Disagree Please continue on to the next page. 51

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Attitude Task: Now, we would like you to complete some attitude tasks (on the next several pages of this survey). Research suggests that attitudes and perceptions about even very common everyday items may be related to basic personality characteristics. To further examine this idea, we would like you to complete the opinion questionnaires on the following pages with your most natural response. Please follow the instructions provided. When you are done reading this passage and answering the questions below, please click the Next button to continue. Please read the following short passage from a novel and answer the questions below it. The automobile swung clumsily around the curve in the red sandstone trail, now a mass of mud. The headlights suddenly picked out in the nightfirst on one side of the road, then on the othertwo wooden huts with sheet metal roofs. On the right near the second one, a tower of course beams could be made out in the light fog. From the top of the tower a metal cable, invisible at its starting-point, shone as it sloped down into the light from the car before disappearing behind the embankment that blocked the road. The car slowed down and stopped a few yards from the huts. The man who emerged from the seat to the right of the driver labored to extricate himself from the car. As he stood up, his huge, broad frame lurched a little. In the shadow beside the car, solidly planted on the ground and weighed down by fatigue, he seemed to be listening to the idling motor. Then he walked in the direction of the embankment and entered the cone of light from the headlights. He stopped at the top of the slope, his broad back outlined against the darkness. After a moment he turned around. In the light from the dashboard he could see the chauffeurs black face, smiling. The man signaled and the chauffeur turned of the motor. At once a vast cool silence fell over the trail and the forest. Then the sound of the water could be heard. The man looked at the river below him, visible solely as a broad dark motion flecked with occasional shimmers. A denser motionless darkness, far beyond, must be the other bank. By looking fixedly, however, one could see on that still bank a yellowish light like an oil lamp in the distance. The big man turned back toward the car and nodded. The chauffeur switched off the lights, turned them on again, then blinked them regularly. On the embankment the man appeared and disappeared, taller and more massive each time he came back to life. Suddenly, on the other bank of the river, a lantern held up by an invisible arm back and forth several times. At a final signal from the lookout, the man disappeared into the night. With the lights out, the river was shining intermittently. On each side of the road, the dark masses of forest foliage stood out against the sky and seemed very near. The fine rain that had soaked the trail an hour earlier was still hovering in the warm air, intensifying the silence and immobility of this broad clearing in the virgin forest. In the black sky misty stars flickered. How do you feel about the overall descriptive qualities of the story? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 not at all somewhat very descriptive descriptive descriptive Do you think the author of this story is male or female? _______ male _______ female 52

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Sample Word Completion Task We are simply pre-testing this next questionnaire for future studies. Please complete the following by filling letters in the blanks to create words. Please fill in the blanks with the first word that comes to mind. Write one letter per blank. Some words may be plural. Thank you. 1. BUR D 14. CHA 2. PLA 15. KI ED 3. OK 16. CL K 4. WAT 17. TAB 5. DE 18. W DOW 6. MU 19. SK L 7. NG 20. TR 8. B T LE 21. P P R 9. M_ J R 22. COFF 10. P TURE 23. O SE 11. FL W R 24. POST 12. GRA 25. R DI 13. K _GS 53

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Attitude Task: This next section consists of a number of words that describe different feelings and emotions. Read each item and then mark the appropriate answer in the space next to that word. Indicate to what extent you feel this way right now that is, at the present moment. 1. Interested (1) very slightly or not at all (2) a little (3) moderately (4) quite a bit (5) extremely 2. Distressed (1) very slightly or not at all (2) a little (3) moderately (4) quite a bit (5) extremely 3. Excited (1) very slightly or not at all (2) a little (3) moderately (4) quite a bit (5) extremely 4. Upset (1) very slightly or not at all (2) a little (3) moderately (4) quite a bit (5) extremely 5. Strong (1) very slightly or not at all (2) a little (3) moderately (4) quite a bit (5) extremely 54

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6. Guilty (1) very slightly or not at all (2) a little (3) moderately (4) quite a bit (5) extremely 7. Scared (1) very slightly or not at all (2) a little (3) moderately (4) quite a bit (5) extremely 8. Hostile (1) very slightly or not at all (2) a little (3) moderately (4) quite a bit (5) extremely 9. Enthusiastic (1) very slightly or not at all (2) a little (3) moderately (4) quite a bit (5) extremely 10. Proud (1) very slightly or not at all (2) a little (3) moderately (4) quite a bit (5) extremely 55

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11. Alert (1) very slightly or not at all (2) a little (3) moderately (4) quite a bit (5) extremely 12. Ashamed (1) very slightly or not at all (2) a little (3) moderately (4) quite a bit (5) extremely 13. Inspired (1) very slightly or not at all (2) a little (3) moderately (4) quite a bit (5) extremely 14. Nervous (1) very slightly or not at all (2) a little (3) moderately (4) quite a bit (5) extremely 15. Determined (1) very slightly or not at all (2) a little (3) moderately (4) quite a bit (5) extremely 56

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16. Attentive (1) very slightly or not at all (2) a little (3) moderately (4) quite a bit (5) extremely 17. Jittery (1) very slightly or not at all (2) a little (3) moderately (4) quite a bit (5) extremely 18. Active (1) very slightly or not at all (2) a little (3) moderately (4) quite a bit (5) extremely 19. Afraid (1) very slightly or not at all (2) a little (3) moderately (4) quite a bit (5) extremely 20. Irritable (1) very slightly or not at all (2) a little (3) moderately (4) quite a bit (5) extremely Please continue on to the next page. 57

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Attitude Task: This section will present you with statements about various attitudes. You will probably find that you agree with some of the statements, and disagree with others to varying extents. Please indicate your reaction to each statement by choosing a number between and +4 according to the following scale: Choose: -4 if you very strongly disagree with the statement -3 if you strongly disagree with the statement -2 if you moderately disagree with the statement -1 if you slightly disagree with the statement Choose: +1 if you slightly agree with the statement +2 if you moderately agree with the statement +3 if you strongly agree with the statement +4 if you very strongly agree with the statement *If you feel exactly and precisely neutral about the statement, choose 0. You may find that you sometimes have different reactions to different parts of a statement. For example, you might very strongly disagree (-4) with one idea in a statement, but slightly agree (+1) with another idea in the same item. When this happens, please combine your reactions, and write down how you feel on balance (a -3 in this case). When you are done, please click the Next button to continue on to the next section of the survey. 1. Anyone who is honestly and truly seeking the truth will end up believing what I believe. (Very (Very Strongly (Strongly Disagree) (neutral) Agree) -4 -3 -2 -1 0 1 2 3 4 2. There are so many things we have not discovered yet, nobody should be absolutely certain his beliefs are right. (Very (Very Strongly (Strongly Disagree) (neutral) Agree) -4 -3 -2 -1 0 1 2 3 4 58

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3. The things I believe in are so completely true, I could never doubt them. (Very (Very Strongly (Strongly Disagree) (neutral) Agree) -4 -3 -2 -1 0 1 2 3 4 4. I have never discovered a system of beliefs that explains everything to my satisfaction. (Very (Very Strongly (Strongly Disagree) (neutral) Agree) -4 -3 -2 -1 0 1 2 3 4 5. It is best to be open to all possibilities and ready to reevaluate all your beliefs. (Very (Very Strongly (Strongly Disagree) (neutral) Agree) -4 -3 -2 -1 0 1 2 3 4 6. My opinions are right and will stand the test of time. (Very (Very Strongly (Strongly Disagree) (neutral) Agree) -4 -3 -2 -1 0 1 2 3 4 7. Flexibility is a real virtue in thinking, since you may well be wrong. (Very (Very Strongly (Strongly Disagree) (neutral) Agree) -4 -3 -2 -1 0 1 2 3 4 59

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8. My opinions and beliefs fit together perfectly to make a crystal-clear picture of things. (Very (Very Strongly (Strongly Disagree) (neutral) Agree) -4 -3 -2 -1 0 1 2 3 4 9. There are no discoveries or facts that could possibly make me change my mind about the things that matter most in life. (Very (Very Strongly (Strongly Disagree) (neutral) Agree) -4 -3 -2 -1 0 1 2 3 4 10. I am a long way from reaching final conclusions about the central issues in life. (Very (Very Strongly (Strongly Disagree) (neutral) Agree) -4 -3 -2 -1 0 1 2 3 4 11. The person who is absolutely certain she has the truth will probably never find it. (Very (Very Strongly (Strongly Disagree) (neutral) Agree) -4 -3 -2 -1 0 1 2 3 4 12. I am absolutely certain that my ideas about the fundamental issues in life are correct. (Very (Very Strongly (Strongly Disagree) (neutral) Agree) -4 -3 -2 -1 0 1 2 3 4 60

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13. The people who disagree with me may well turn out to be right. (Very (Very Strongly (Strongly Disagree) (neutral) Agree) -4 -3 -2 -1 0 1 2 3 4 14. I am so sure I am right about the important things in life, there is no evidence that could convince me otherwise. (Very (Very Strongly (Strongly Disagree) (neutral) Agree) -4 -3 -2 -1 0 1 2 3 4 15. If you are open-minded about the most important things in life, you will probably reach the wrong conclusions. (Very (Very Strongly (Strongly Disagree) (neutral) Agree) -4 -3 -2 -1 0 1 2 3 4 16. Twenty years from now, some of my opinions about the important things in life will probably have changed. (Very (Very Strongly (Strongly Disagree) (neutral) Agree) -4 -3 -2 -1 0 1 2 3 4 17. Flexibility in thinking is another name for being wishy-washy. (Very (Very Strongly (Strongly Disagree) (neutral) Agree) -4 -3 -2 -1 0 1 2 3 4 61

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18. No one knows all the essential truths about the central issues in life. (Very (Very Strongly (Strongly Disagree) (neutral) Agree) -4 -3 -2 -1 0 1 2 3 4 19. Someday I will probably realize my present ideas about the BIG issues are wrong. (Very (Very Strongly (Strongly Disagree) (neutral) Agree) -4 -3 -2 -1 0 1 2 3 4 20. People who disagree with me are just plain wrong and often evil as well. (Very (Very Strongly (Strongly Disagree) (neutral) Agree) -4 -3 -2 -1 0 1 2 3 4 62

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Opinion Questionnaire 3: Sams Attitudes The questions below are identical to the questions you answered on the previous page. This time, however, we would like you to ANSWER THEM NOT AS YOURSELF, BUT AS YOU THINK SAM WOULD ANSWER THEM That is, pretend that you are Sam (the person presented to you earlier in the survey), and respond to the statements as you think he would answer them. For example, if you think that Sam would very strongly agree with a statement, choose +4. If you need a reminder, here is the paragraph about Sam from the first page: I am 22 years old, just finishing up my senior year of college. Ill be graduating with a bachelors degree in architecture. Im still not sure where Ill be working when I graduate. Ive always wanted to live in California, so I think I might start looking for a job there. Im also thinking about graduate school for architecture, Im not sure yet. Im taking part in this study in order to earn credits toward a class that I am taking this semester. In my spare time, I like to run, sometimes competitively in marathons, and just hang out with friends. I describe myself as a religious fundamentalist, and I think that most people would describe me as an energetic, friendly person. Please use the same scale to answer for Sam: Choose: -4 if Sam would very strongly disagree with the statement -3 if Sam would strongly disagree with the statement -2 if Sam would moderately disagree with the statement -1 if Sam would slightly disagree with the statement Choose: +1 if Sam would slightly agree with the statement +2 if Sam would moderately agree with the statement +3 if Sam would strongly agree with the statement +4 if Sam would very strongly agree with the statement *If Sam would feel exactly and precisely neutral about the statement, choose 0. If you think that Sam would have different reactions to different parts of a statement, please combine the reactions, and write down how you think Sam would feel on balance by adding the numbers together. When you are done, please click the Next button to continue on to the next section of the survey. ******PLEASE REMEMBER THAT YOU ARE ANSWERING THESE ITEMS AS YOU THINK SAM WOULD ANSWER THEM GIVEN THE PARAGRAPH ABOVE*** 63

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1. Anyone who is honestly and truly seeking the truth will end up believing what I believe. (Very (Very Strongly (Strongly Disagree) (neutral) Agree) -4 -3 -2 -1 0 1 2 3 4 2. There are so many things we have not discovered yet, nobody should be absolutely certain his beliefs are right. (Very (Very Strongly (Strongly Disagree) (neutral) Agree) -4 -3 -2 -1 0 1 2 3 4 3. The things I believe in are so completely true, I could never doubt them. (Very (Very Strongly (Strongly Disagree) (neutral) Agree) -4 -3 -2 -1 0 1 2 3 4 4. I have never discovered a system of beliefs that explains everything to my satisfaction. (Very (Very Strongly (Strongly Disagree) (neutral) Agree) -4 -3 -2 -1 0 1 2 3 4 5. It is best to be open to all possibilities and ready to reevaluate all your beliefs. (Very (Very Strongly (Strongly Disagree) (neutral) Agree) -4 -3 -2 -1 0 1 2 3 4 64

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6. My opinions are right and will stand the test of time. (Very (Very Strongly (Strongly Disagree) (neutral) Agree) -4 -3 -2 -1 0 1 2 3 4 7. Flexibility is a real virtue in thinking, since you may well be wrong. (Very (Very Strongly (Strongly Disagree) (neutral) Agree) -4 -3 -2 -1 0 1 2 3 4 8. My opinions and beliefs fit together perfectly to make a crystal-clear picture of things. (Very (Very Strongly (Strongly Disagree) (neutral) Agree) -4 -3 -2 -1 0 1 2 3 4 9. There are no discoveries or facts that could possibly make me change my mind about the things that matter most in life. (Very (Very Strongly (Strongly Disagree) (neutral) Agree) -4 -3 -2 -1 0 1 2 3 4 10. I am a long way from reaching final conclusions about the central issues in life. (Very (Very Strongly (Strongly Disagree) (neutral) Agree) -4 -3 -2 -1 0 1 2 3 4 65

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11. The person who is absolutely certain she has the truth will probably never find it. (Very (Very Strongly (Strongly Disagree) (neutral) Agree) -4 -3 -2 -1 0 1 2 3 4 12. I am absolutely certain that my ideas about the fundamental issues in life are correct. (Very (Very Strongly (Strongly Disagree) (neutral) Agree) -4 -3 -2 -1 0 1 2 3 4 13. The people who disagree with me may well turn out to be right. (Very (Very Strongly (Strongly Disagree) (neutral) Agree) -4 -3 -2 -1 0 1 2 3 4 14. I am so sure I am right about the important things in life, there is no evidence that could convince me otherwise. (Very (Very Strongly (Strongly Disagree) (neutral) Agree) -4 -3 -2 -1 0 1 2 3 4 15. If you are open-minded about the most important things in life, you will probably reach the wrong conclusions. (Very (Very Strongly (Strongly Disagree) (neutral) Agree) -4 -3 -2 -1 0 1 2 3 4 66

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16. Twenty years from now, some of my opinions about the important things in life will probably have changed. (Very (Very Strongly (Strongly Disagree) (neutral) Agree) -4 -3 -2 -1 0 1 2 3 4 17. Flexibility in thinking is another name for being wishy-washy. (Very (Very Strongly (Strongly Disagree) (neutral) Agree) -4 -3 -2 -1 0 1 2 3 4 18. No one knows all the essential truths about the central issues in life. (Very (Very Strongly (Strongly Disagree) (neutral) Agree) -4 -3 -2 -1 0 1 2 3 4 19. Someday I will probably realize my present ideas about the BIG issues are wrong. (Very (Very Strongly (Strongly Disagree) (neutral) Agree) -4 -3 -2 -1 0 1 2 3 4 20. People who disagree with me are just plain wrong and often evil as well. (Very (Very Strongly (Strongly Disagree) (neutral) Agree) -4 -3 -2 -1 0 1 2 3 4 67

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Demographic Questionnaire This last section of the survey asks for some basic demographic information. This information is only used to describe your general characteristics, not to identify you as a person. Age: Gender: How many total years of education have you completed? (For example, one year of college = 13)? Religious Affiliation: How religious do you consider yourself to be? Please circle a number between 1 and 7. (Not at all religious) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 (Very Religious) Ethnicity: I am a citizen of the United States: Yes No 68

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REFERENCES Altemeyer, B., & Hunsberger, B. (1992). Authoritarianism, religious fundamentalism, quest, and prejudice. The International Journal for the Psychology of Religion, 2(2), 113-133. doi:10.1207/s15327582ijpr0202_5 Altemeyer, B. (2002). Dogmatic Behavior Among Students: Testing a New Measure of Dogmatism. The Journal of Social Psychology, 142(6), 713-721. doi:10.1080/00224540209603931 Altemeyer, B. (1996). The Authoritarian Specter. New York: Harvard UP. Arndt, J., Cook, A., & Routledge, C. (2004). The blueprint of terror management: Understanding the cognitive architecture of psychological defense against the awareness of death. In J. Greenberg, S. L. Koole, & T. Pyszcynski (Eds.), Handbook of experimental existential psychology (pp. 35). New York: Guilford Press. Becker, E. (1971). The birth and death of meaning. New York: Free Press. Byrne, D., & Nelson, D. (1965). Attraction as a linear function of proportion of positive reinforcement. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 1, 659-663. doi:10.1037/h0022073 Byrne, D. (1971) The Attraction Paradigm, New York: Academic Press. Crowson, H. M., DeBacker, T. K., & Davis, K. A. (2007). The DOG scale: A valid measure of dogmatism? Journal of Individual Differences, 29(1), 17-24. doi:10.1027/1614-0001.29.1.17 Cohen, F., Jussim, L., Harber, K., & Bhasin, G. (2009). Modern anti-Semitism and anti-Israeli attitudes. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 97(2), 290-306. doi:10.1037/a0015338 Das, E., Bushman, B., Bezemer, M., Kerkhof, P., & Vermeulen, I. (2009). How terrorism news reports increase prejudice against outgroups: A terror management account. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 45, 453-459. doi:10.1016/j.jesp.2008.12.001 Dechesne, M., Pyszczynski, T., Arndt, J., Ransom, S., Sheldon, K. M., van Knippenberg, A., & Janssen, J. (2003). Literal and symbolic immortality: the effect of evidence of literal immortality on self-esteem striving in response to mortality salience. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 84, 722. doi:10.1037/0022-3514.84.4.722 Edgell, P., Gerteis, J., & Hartmann, D. (2006). Atheists As "Other": Moral Boundaries and Cultural Membership in American Society. American Sociological Review, 71(2), 211-235. doi:10.1177/000312240607100203 69

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Field, A. (2009). Discovering statistics using SPSS. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Friedman, M., & Rholes, W. (2007). Successfully challenging fundamentalist beliefs results in increased death awareness. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 43, 794. doi:10.1016/j.jesp.2006.07.008 Friedman, M., & Rholes, W. (2008). Religious Fundamentalism and Terror Management. International Journal for the Psychology of Religion, 18, 36-52. doi:10.1080/10508610701719322 Greenberg, J., Pyszczynski, T., & Solomon, S. (1986). The causes and consequences of a need for self-esteem: A terror management theory. In R.F. Baumeister (Ed.), Public self and private self (pp. 189-212). New York: Springer-Verlag. Greenberg, J., Solomon, S., &Arndt, J. (2008). A basic but uniquely human motivation: Terror management. In J. Shah & W. Gardner (Eds.), Handbook of motivation science. New York: Guilford. Greenberg, J., Martens, A., Jonas, E., Eisenstadt, D., Pyszczynski, T.,& Solomon, S. (2003). Psychological defense in anticipation of anxiety: Eliminating the potential for anxiety eliminates the effect of mortality salience on worldview defense. Psychological Science, 14, 516. doi:10.1111/1467-9280.03454 Greenberg, J., Solomon, S., & Pyszczynski, T. (1997). Terror management theory of self-esteem and cultural worldviews: Empirical assessments and conceptual refinements. In M. Zanna (Ed.), Advances in experimental social psychology (Vol. 29, pp. 61). Orlando, FL: Academic Press. Greenberg, J., Pyszczynski, T., Solomon, S., Simon, L., & Breus, M. (1994). Role of consciousness and accessibility of death-related thoughts in mortality salience effects. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 67, 627. doi:10.1037/0022-3514.67.4.627 Harmon-Jones, E., Simon, L., Greenberg, J., Pyszczynski, T., Solomon, S., & McGregor, H. (1997). Terror management theory and self-esteem: does self-esteem attenuate or intensify mortality salience effects? Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 72, 24. doi:10.1037/0022-3514.72.1.24 Harris, S. (2005). The end of faith: Religion, terror, and the future of reason. New York: W. W. Norton. Hout, M., & Fischer, C. (2006). Century of Difference: How America Changed in the Last One Hundred Years. New York: Russell Sage Foundation Publications. Hyers, L., & Hyers, C. (2008). Everyday Discrimination Experienced by Conservative Christians at the Secular University. Analyses of Social Issues and Public Policy, 8(1), 113-137. doi:10.1111/j.1530-2415.2008.00162.x 70

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Jonas, E., & Fischer, P. (2006). Terror management and religion: Evidence that intrinsic religiousness mitigates worldview defense following mortality salience. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 91, 553-567. doi:10.1037/0022-3514.91.3.553 Jones, J. (2007, April 15). Americans have a net positive view of U.S Catholics. Gallup Poll. Retrieved June 15, 2009, from http://www.gallup.com/poll/106516/americans-netpositive-view-us-catholics.aspx McGregor, I., Zanna, M., Holmes, J., & Spencer, S. (2001). Compensatory conviction in the face of personal uncertainty: Going to extremes and being oneself. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 80, 472. doi:10.1037/0022-3514.80.3.472 Moradi, B., & Hasan, N. T. (2004). Arab American persons reported experiences of discrimination and mental health: The mediating role of personal control. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 51, 418-428. doi:10.1037/0022-0167.51.4.418 Nelson, N.L., & Probst, T.M. (2009). Multiple minority individuals: Multiplying the risk of workplace harassment and discrimination. In Chin, J.L. (Ed.), The Psychology of Prejudice and Discrimination (pp. 97-111). Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger. Newport, F. (1999, March 29). Americans Today Much More Accepting of a Woman, Black, Catholic, or Jew As President. Gallup Poll. Retrieved June 15, 2009, from http://www.gallup.com/poll/3979/Americans-Today-Much-More-Accepting-Woman-Black-Catholic.aspx Norenzayan, A., & Hansen, I. G. (2006). Belief in supernatural agents in the face of death. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 32, 174. doi:10.1177/0146167205280251 Osgood, C., Suci, G., & Tannenbaum, P. (1957) The measurement of meaning. Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press. Pew Research Center. (2003, July 24). Religion and Politics: Contention and Consensus [Press release]. Retrieved June 15, 2009, from http://pewforum.org/docs/?DocID=26 Pyszczynski, T., Greenberg, J., & Solomon, S. (1999). A dual-process model of defense against conscious and unconscious death-related thoughts: An extension of terror management theory. Psychological Review, 106, 835. doi:10.1037/0033-295X.106.4.835 Pyszczynski, T., Solomon, S., & Greenberg, J. (2003). In the wake of 9/11: The psychology of terror. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association. Pyszczynski, T., Greenberg, J., Solomon, S., & Maxfield, M. (2006). On the unique psychological import of the human awareness of mortality: Theme and variations. Psychological Inquiry, 17(4), 328-356. doi:10.1080/10478400701369542 71

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Rosenberg, M. (1965). Society and the Adolescent Self-Image. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press. Rowe, William L. (1998). Atheism. In Edward Craig (Ed.), Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Kentucky: Routledge. Shahani, C., Dipboye, R., & Phillips, A. (1990). Global self-esteem as a correlate of work-related attitudes: A question of dimensionality. Journal of Personality Assessment, 54(2), 276-288. doi:10.1207/s15327752jpa5401&2_26 Smith, G. (1989). Atheism: The case against God. New York: Prometheus Books. Solomon, S., Greenberg, J., & Pyszczynski, T. (2004). The cultural animal: Twenty years of terror management theory and research. In J. Greenberg, S. L. Koole, & T. Pyszczynski (Eds.), Handbook of experimental existential psychology (pp. 1334). New York: Guilford Press. Tardy, C. (1988). A Handbook for the Study of Human Communication: Methods and Instruments for Observing, Measuring, and Assessing Communication Process. New York: Ablex Publishing. Watson, D., Clark, L., & Tellegen, A. (1988). Development and validation of brief measures of positive and negative affect: The PANAS scales. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 54(6), 1063-1070. doi:10.1037/0022-3514.54.6.1063 72

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BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Lawton graduated from the University of Central Florida with a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology with minors in philosophy and cognitive science, and he is currently a doctoral student in the counseling psychology program at the University of Florida. His research interests focus primarily on issues of social justice, prejudice, belief systems, and religion. Lawton lives in Gainesville, FL with his partner, Katie and their two cats, Abbey and Gizmo. 73