Friday, August 31, 2007


How Political Psychology Explains Bush's Ghastly Success.

Their first experiment was published in 1989. To test the hypothesis that recognition of mortality evokes "worldview defense"--their term for the range of emotions, from intolerance to religi- osity to a preference for law and order, that they believe thoughts of death can trigger--they assembled 22 Tucson municipal court judges. They told the judges they wanted to test the relationship between personality traits and bail decisions, but, for one group, they inserted in the middle of the personality questionnaire two exercises meant to evoke awareness of their mortality. One asked the judges to "briefly describe the emotions that the thought of your own death arouses in you"; the other required them to "jot down, as specifically as you can, what you think will happen to you physically as you die and once you are physically dead." They then asked the judges to set bail in the hypothetical case of a prostitute whom the prosecutor claimed was a flight risk. The judges who did the mortality exercises set an average bail of $455. The control group that did not do the exercises set it at an average of $50. The psychologists knew they were onto something.


  1. I'm NC-17. I'm more offensive than you. In theory.

  2. I don't understand your blogger. I definitely commented on your Rated R post. But the comment ended up here. That's effed up.

    Btw, this article is fascinating.

  3. The comments button is below the post, not above it.