The process of choosing a certain kind of leader can get influenced by the thought of death, or death salience, a product of Terror Management Theory. The difference in choice when people are influenced by death salience is substantial. Where only 4% of the votes would go to a charismatic candidate in a normal situation and 45% to a relationship-oriented one, with the effect of death salience this changes to 33% and a decrease to 22%. A task-oriented candidate always gets about the same amount Of votes.
With his radical tenements, self-confidence and group feeling the charismatic candidate distresses people and gives them a group feeling and meaning in their life. The radical statements also can work as a vicious circle in stressing people and distressing them again with radical solutions. Men are often stereotyped with the characteristics of a charismatic candidate, whereas women are more typified with those of a relationship-oriented person. With other words, when mortality salience applied, males get more often chosen as a leader.
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Two effects influence this decision with the effect of mortality salience: the territory bias effect, and the in-group bias effect. The in-group bias effect means that participants would prefer leaders of their own sex when their stereotyped characteristics are not specified. The stereotype bias effect does the same but with the stereotyped characteristics. Hrs both would choose men, but after manipulation women start choosing on the basis of the characteristics and not the sex. The solution to these manipulations is quite simple; one would only have to tell the people to think rational and the effect decreases considerably.