Effects of Uncertainty and Mortality Salience on Worldview Defense Reactions in Turkey

Yavuz H., van den Bos K.

SOCIAL JUSTICE RESEARCH, vol.22, no.4, pp.384-398, 2009 (Peer-Reviewed Journal) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 22 Issue: 4
  • Publication Date: 2009
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s11211-009-0104-5
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index, Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.384-398


This research explores effects of uncertainty and mortality salience on reactions to violations or bolstering of cultural norms and values. Some recent studies have suggested that worldview defense reactions are better accounted for by reminders of personal uncertainty than mortality. These findings have been disputed, however, as they have not been found outside the Netherlands. The current research was conducted in Turkey, a culture distinguished by high uncertainty avoidance values compared to both the USA and the Netherlands. Results reveal that both uncertainty and mortality salience influence reactions of Turkish participants to essays negative about basic rights of Turkish women, but that uncertainty salience had larger effects than mortality salience. We argue that mortality salience may be an indirect manipulation of uncertainty concerns, which explains why a direct manipulation of uncertainty salience may have a bigger impact on reactions to violations of important cultural norms and values.