Normative Bias and Adaptive Challenges: A Relational Approach to Coalitional Psychology and a Critique of Terror Management Theory

  title={Normative Bias and Adaptive Challenges: A Relational Approach to Coalitional Psychology and a Critique of Terror Management Theory},
  author={Carlos David Navarrete and Daniel M. T. Fessler},
  journal={Evolutionary Psychology},
Adherence to ingroup ideology increases after exposure to death-related stimuli, a reaction that proponents of terror management theory (TMT) explain as a psychological defense against the uniquely human existential fear of death. We argue that existential concerns are not the relevant issue; rather, such concepts can be subsumed under a larger category of adaptive challenges that prime coalitional thinking. We suggest that increases in adherence to ingroup ideology in response to adaptive… 
Unconscious vigilance: worldview defense without adaptations for terror, coalition, or uncertainty management.
It is argued that worldview defense owes to unconscious vigilance, a state of accentuated reactivity to affective targets (which need not relate to cultural worldviews) that follows detection of subtle alarm cues ( which need not pertain to death, coalitional challenges, or uncertainty).
On the Compatibility of Terror Management Theory and Perspectives on Human Evolution
Terror management theory (TMT) posits that the uniquely human awareness of death gives rise to a potential for debilitating terror, which is averted by the construction and maintenance of cultural
Individuals who have been subtly reminded of death display heightened in-group favouritism, or “worldview defense.” Terror management theory argues (i) that death cues engender worldview defense via
Reports of My Death Anxiety Have Been Greatly Exaggerated: A Critique of Terror Management Theory from an Evolutionary Perspective
Although terror management theory's proponents claim that it is an evolutionary theory of human behavior, its major tenets are implausible when examined carefully from a modern evolutionary
Toward an Integrative Theory of Psychological Defense
  • J. Hart
  • Psychology
    Perspectives on psychological science : a journal of the Association for Psychological Science
  • 2014
A cross-section of defensiveness theories and research is examined, highlighting conclusions that can be drawn and areas where conceptual and research problems linger and suggesting that the field needs methodological innovation.
Terror Management Theory: Interplay between Mortality Salience, Death-Thoughts, and Overall Worldview Defense
Tales from Existential Oceans: Terror Management Theory and How the Awareness of Our Mortality Affects Us All
Terror management theory is a social psychological theory that draws from existential, psychodynamic, and evolutionary perspectives to understand the often potent influence that deeply rooted
Divergent Reactions to the Terror of Terrorism: Personal Need for Structure Moderates the Effects of Terrorism Salience on Worldview-Related Attitudinal Rigidity
The current studies explore how individual differences in personal need for structure (PNS) influence the extent to which people respond to terrorism threats with cultural worldview-related
Supernatural Beliefs, Unconscious Threat and Judgment Bias in Tibetan Buddhists
Abstract Individuals who have been subtly reminded of death display heightened in-group favoritism, or “worldview defense.” Terror management theory argues (i) that death cues engender worldview


Anxiety and Intergroup Bias: Terror Management or Coalitional Psychology?
Contemplation of death increases support of ingroup ideologies, a result explained by proponents of terror management theory (TMT) as an attempt to buffer existential anxiety. While TMT claims that
Death Concerns and Other Adaptive Challenges: The Effects of Coalition-Relevant Challenges on Worldview Defense in the US and Costa Rica
A relational approach to the psychology of coalitions suggests that certain stimuli that index adaptive problems for which marshaling coalitional support is a reliably adaptive response should elicit
Evidence for terror management theory II: The effects of mortality salience on reactions to those who threaten or bolster the cultural worldview.
Three experiments were conducted to test the hypothesis, derived from terror management theory, that reminding people of their mortality increases attraction to those who consensually validate their
Evidence for terror management theory: I. The effects of mortality salience on reactions to those who violate or uphold cultural values.
It is shown that the mortality salience effect does not result from heightened self-awareness or physiological arousal, and implications for the role of fear of death in social behavior are discussed.
Testing alternative explanations for mortality salience effects: Terror management, value accessibility, or worrisome thoughts?
Previous research has shown that reminding subjects of their mortality encourages negative reactions to others whose behaviour or attitudes deviate from the cultural worldview (e.g. Greenberg,
Human Social Motivation in Evolutionary Perspective: Grounding Terror Management Theory
disproved? Further, with regard to the claim that the most basic human motive is the desire for continued life, I have a number of questions. First, when a mother risks her life to save her child,
Terror management and tolerance: does mortality salience always intensify negative reactions to others who threaten one's worldview?
Mortality salience did not lead to negative reactions to the critic when the value of tolerance was highly accessible and, under mortality-salient or control conditions, Ss evaluated a target person who criticized the United States.
Compensatory conviction in the face of personal uncertainty: going to extremes and being oneself.
Going to extremes and being oneself are seen as 2 modes of compensatory conviction used to defend against personal uncertainty, and a new perspective on terror managenment theory is proposed.
Suppression, accessibility of death-related thoughts, and cultural worldview defense: exploring the psychodynamics of terror management.
Study 3 demonstrated that worldview defense in response to MS reduces the delayed increase in death accessibility, suggesting that a person's initial response to conscious thoughts of mortality is to actively suppress death thoughts.