A Terror management perspective to system justification in disaster context: the case of earthquakes in Turkey

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2017
Doğulu, Canay
There is a growing body of research that attests to study system justification theory from an applied perspective to understand how system justification processes operate in various social issues including disasters. This thesis aims to contribute to this line of research by addressing system justification in disaster context from a terror management perspective in the case of earthquakes in Turkey. The aim was to explore the social cognitive processes underlying perceptions of and reactions to earthquakes with focus on fatalism and system justification as indirect and direct forms of bolstering the perceived legitimacy of the system, respectively, and also earthquake preparedness. To this end, an experimental study was conducted to investigate, after controlling for earthquake exposure (EQEXPO), how mortality salience (MS) and system threat (ST) influence fatalism, system justification, and earthquake preparedness, and whether and how this influence differs with respect to general and specific (i.e., disaster-related) levels of MS and ST. In an online study, 308 participants were randomly assigned to one of 9 conditions of a 3 (MS: death vs. earthquake vs. control) X 3 (ST: general vs. disaster-related vs. control) between-subjects design with EQEXPO as the covariate. The results revealed a main effect of MS only for earthquake fatalism. The main effect of ST and the MS X ST interaction effect were not observed in any of the dependent variables. The findings were discussed along with its contributions, implications, limitations, and directions for future research. 
Citation Formats
C. Doğulu, “A Terror management perspective to system justification in disaster context: the case of earthquakes in Turkey,” Ph.D. - Doctoral Program, Middle East Technical University, 2017.