Mortality salience and worldview affirmation strengthen support for foreign products

Daniel Sullivan, Eva Jonas, Barbara Jodlbauer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Research in terror management theory shows that, when reminded of their own death, people experience an elevated need to feel secure in their cultural worldview. This effect has consequences for consumer behavior. One unexplored possibility is that a worldview-affirming prime will buffer anxiety and actually increase willingness to purchase products representative of a foreign worldview after a death reminder. In our study, we first induced mortality or failure salience in 137 Austrian residents. Participants then read a diary entry about a holiday spent either in the mountains of Austria or in foreign countries. Finally, we measured willingness to pay a higher price for a local ("Fair Milk") versus a foreign product ("fair trade"). Analyses showed that following mortality salience (compared to failure salience) the worldview-affirming prime (a diary entry about Austrian culture) uniquely increased willingness to pay higher prices for foreign products.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)224-230
Number of pages7
JournalZeitschrift fur Psychologie / Journal of Psychology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2011


  • Consumer behavior
  • Fair trade
  • Mortality salience
  • Terror management theory
  • Worldview affirmation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • General Psychology


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