Honors College Theses

Publication Date



Psychology (B.S.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Faculty Mentor

Dr. Michael Nielsen


Terror Management Theory argues that mortality salience is an important motivator in how people behave throughout their lives, and can influence how prejudiced individuals become. In this study we triggered participants’ mortality salience to test this claim, as well as measured the attitudes of prejudice have for atheists compared to homosexuals to see if they differ. Mortality salience did not have an effect on prejudice in this experiment, but anti-atheist prejudice was significantly higher than anti-homosexual prejudice. Although these findings are small, they confirm a need for continued research on prejudice against religious minorities, such as atheists, and how to reduce it.