Worldview Accommodation: Selectively Modifying Committed Beliefs Provides Defense Against Worldview Threat
Although numerous studies have examined compensatory reactions to ideological threats such as derogation, relatively little research has focused on alternative forms of defense. One such alternative, termed accommodation, involves accepting and incorporating parts of the threatening information into existing belief-structures. The present research employs a terror management framework to assess the effects of worldview threat, death-thoughts, and trait self-esteem on worldview accommodation. Five studies demonstrate that accommodation entails selectively modifying only peripheral worldview beliefs, while retaining core beliefs. Study 1 demonstrates that accommodation increases as a function of death-thought accessibility (DTA) aroused by threat. Studies 2–5 show that self-esteem moderates the effects of threat on accommodation, such that people with low (but not high) self-esteem accommodate their worldview. Moreover, accommodation is found to reduce source derogation (Studies 1–3), fluid defensiveness (Study 4), and DTA (Study 5). Discussion focuses on implications for understanding various means of coping with worldview threats.
|Keywords||Accommodation, Mortality salience, Self-esteem, Terror management theory, Threat, Worldview defense|
|Journal||Self and Identity|
Hayes, J. (Joseph), Schimel, J. (Jeff), Williams, T.J. (Todd J.), Howard, A, Webber, D. (David), & Faucher, E.H. (Erik H.). (2015). Worldview Accommodation: Selectively Modifying Committed Beliefs Provides Defense Against Worldview Threat. Self and Identity, 14(5), 521–548. doi:10.1080/15298868.2015.1036919