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Keywords:

  • personality;
  • threat;
  • mortality salience;
  • diversity;
  • teams

Abstract

The present study tried to reconcile assumptions from Terror Management Theory that individual differences in openness to diversity are enhanced by existential threat with own recent findings suggesting that individual differences are diminished by threat. A model was supported assuming that it is the nature of the threat that determines which pattern will hold. We predicted that for stress-related but not for social traits, threat enhances individual differences in reactions to diversity. Students were confronted with a videotaped meeting of a homogeneous versus diverse work group. Threat was induced using a Terror Management Intervention. Indeed, whereas for Emotional Stability individual differ ences in responses to diversity were restricted to conditions of threat, for Social Initiative, individual differences solely occurred under normal circumstances. Copyright © 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.