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Fischer, Peter; Greitemeyer, Tobias; Kastenmüller, Andreas; Jonas, Eva and Frey, Dieter (2006): Coping With Terrorism: The Impact of Increased Salience of Terrorism on Mood and Self-Efficacy of Intrinsically Religious and Nonreligious People. In: Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, Vol. 32, No. 2: pp. 365-377 [PDF, 142kB]


It was hypothesized that intrinsic religiousness helps to cope with increased salience of terrorism. Intrinsically religious and nonreligious participants were told that it is highly probable or highly improbable, respectively, that terrorist attacks will occur in Germany. High probability of terrorism only negatively affected the mood of nonreligious participants but not of intrinsically religious participants (Study 1). Using as a realistic context of investigation the terrorist suicide bombings in Istanbul, the authors replicated this finding and shed some light on the underlying psychological processes (Study 2): On the day of the terrorist attacks (high salience of terrorism), nonreligious participants experienced less positive emotions and less self-efficacy than did intrinsically religious participants. Two months later (low salience of terrorism), no differences were found between nonreligious and intrinsically religious participants with regard to mood and self-efficacy. Mediational analyses suggested that the mood effects were associated with differences in the reported sense of self-efficacy.

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