Existential Threat Theory

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mediating the effect of symbolic threat and realistic threat on the belief turned out to be contingent upon the level of identity subversion, such that this mediation effect was significant only among Muslim participants with high identity subversion. Theoretical implications The finding in this study that emotion of dejection-agitation mediated the effect of symbolic threat and realistic threat on anti-West conspiracy theories was in support of the model of integrated threat theory (ITT : Stephan & Renfro, 2002). In this model, symbolic threat and realistic threat are supposed to aggravate negative emotions such as intergroup anxiety, fear, and anger, which in turn intensify negative out-group attitudes. Intergroup emotion theory (Smith, Miller,…show more content…
Indeed, intergroup threats are cited as a cause accounting for provoking existential threat or uncertainty (Stephan & Renfro, 2002). Existential threat in turn instigates belief in conspiracy theories. In this regard, belief in conspiracy theories functions as a medium through which people cope with the existential threat, in order to regain and keep up their sense of meaning, control, and security (Newheiser, Farias, & Tausch; 2011; Sullivan et al.,…show more content…
First, respondents in this study were drawn on the basis a non-random convenient sampling among Muslim students from Islāmic universities. As a result, the findings of the current study could not be entirely generalized into Indonesian Muslims in general and Indonesian Muslim students in particular. Next studies thus might use a random sampling, which involves Indonesian Muslim students from more varying university backgrounds. To develop the generalizability of the findings in this study, next studies may also include other demographic variables such as family education levels, income, social status, academic discipline, and political affiliations. Next studies might include religious fundamentalism given that this variable, as recommended by Swami (2012), is very relevant to Muslim social identity. As argued by Jikeli (2012), Muslims’ negative perceptions towards Western people in terms of threat, injustice, and discrimination oftentimes function as a means by which Muslim fundamentalists rationalize their belief in the Western conspiracies to harm Islam. Another limitation is that the operationalization of Western people or countries in this study is highly subjective, although building on some logical argumentations from the existing literature. To make the operationalization more empirical, next studies need conducting a preliminary investigation about Indonesian Muslims’

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