Effects of Mortality Salience on Religiosity and Transphobia

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Morris, Lauren
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University Honors College, Middle Tennessee State University
This study examined the effects of mortality salience on religiosity and subsequent transphobia. Participants were either reminded of an exam (control group) or of their own mortality (mortality salient group) and then their religious worldview, religious fundamentalism, and level of transphobia were measured. Thinking of their own death was anticipated to strengthen religious participants’ preexisting religious beliefs, resulting in a subsequent increase in their level of transphobia, especially among those holding fundamentalist religious views. However, the results from the current study were contrary to predictions. The control group had stronger correlations between both forms of religiosity and transphobia, particularly fundamentalism. The mortality salient group even showed significantly lower religious fundamentalism scores, contradicting expected findings. These results indicate that further research should investigate empathy and mortality salience, differences between religiously motivated prejudice towards transgender individuals and other members of the LGBT community, and the possible effects of spirituality and political beliefs.
salience, religiosity, prejudice, death-thought, existential psychology, transgender, mortality