‘Over a decade ago, psychologists John Jost, Jack Glaser, Arie Kruglanski, and Frank Sulloway launched a far-reaching and in-depth analysis of politically conservative belief. Sweeping through the scientific literature, they sought to determine what psychological variables predicted conservatism. Their resulting meta-analysis consisted of 22,818 cases from twelve countries. What they found was intriguing, yet unsurprising. Conservatism was tied to a need for order, structure, and closure as well as intolerance of ambiguity. It negatively correlated with being open to new experiences.
One trait in particular led the pack, however, and this one was somewhat surprising. That trait? Death anxiety. That’s right. There was no stronger predictor of conservative political belief than a “persistent fear of one’s own mortality.”
Death is inevitable, a fate destined for all of us. Yet despite its universality, it is the ultimate unknown. We can peer into the distant reaches of space and time, yet we will almost certainly never see past our own mortality. Death is an end. As conscious, living beings, it is only natural to be afraid of it.’
Read more: What the Fear of Death Does to Your Beliefs