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Death Pumps Up Aggressive Thoughts

A study was conducted by Tom Pyszczynski, professor, Psychology, University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, Abdolhossein Abdollahi, professor, Psychology, Islamic Azad University, Zarand, //Iran, Sheldon Solomon, professor, Psychology, Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, N.Y., and Jeff Greenberg, professor, Psychology, University of Arizona, Tuscon.

In this study both Iranian students and American students were questioned and were found that thoughts of death increase support for extreme actions. The researchers also analyzed the attitudes of young Americans regarding extreme military interventions in the Middle East. Under neutral conditions the researchers found that both groups showed little support for such extreme, but when reminded them of the inevitability of death they supported extreme measures.

About 40 students from two universities and 127 students at Rutgers University, New Brunswick, N.J., were asked to think about death and then were asked to respond to questions gauging their support for extreme military actions ranging from the use of nuclear and chemical weapons to pre-emptive strikes against countries that may pose a threat to the United States.

Support for extreme measures increased when thoughts of either death or 9/11 in case of Americans were introduced prior to the survey. The scientific findings demonstrate that thoughts of death increase people’s readiness to support extreme violent solutions to global conflicts. In conclusion it was said that the same factors that increased Iranians’ support for martyrdom attacks against Americans increased Americans’ support for extreme military interventions in the Middle East, both of which could cause the loss of thousands of innocent lives. Similarly people in the terrorist groups incite others by talking about previous incidents which has resulted in loss of life. This further helps them to instill hatred for each othr.

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