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Affective and cognitive responses to threatening people and places Leighton, Dana Charles


Humans have developed adaptive behaviors to cope with threats to personal and collective safety. One such behavior is increased vigilance in situations that may connote danger. Individual differences, such as chronic dangerous world beliefs, moderate personal responses to threatening situations. The present research examines the affective and cognitive responses to two potential threats: immigrant outgroup members, and ambient darkness. Neither darkness nor immigrant outgroup threat alone affected integrative complexity (IC). The immigrant outgroup condition resulted in more negative affect, especially in combination with ambient darkness. Belief in a Dangerous World and Personal Need for Structure are shown to be moderators in IC changes when participants are under threat.

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