Terror management among Taiwanese: Worldview defence or resigning to fate?

Chih Long Yen, Chung Ping Cheng

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26 Citations (Scopus)


Terror management theory (TMT) proposes that people who are reminded of their mortality should be motivated to defend their cultural worldview. Studies 1 and 2 examined whether the TMT worldview defence-buffering effect found in Western cultures could be generalized to Asians in Taiwan. No such effect was found in the present studies. This non-significant result was robust when either a stronger distraction task was used (study 1) or when a subliminal manipulation of mortality salience was utilized (study 2). A meta-analysis, including 24 TMT experiments in East Asia, was also conducted (study 3). The average effect size (d = 0.11, r = 0.055) of worldview defence among these experiments was not significantly different from zero. Study 4 found that mortality salience manipulation also did not change Taiwanese participants' view of reincarnation; however, it did make them more inclined to resign to fate, suggesting that they might be using this symbolic means to defend their anxiety of death. The issue of the generality of TMT to Asians was discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)185-194
Number of pages10
JournalAsian Journal of Social Psychology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2010 Sep 1

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Social Sciences(all)


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