We have NEVER claimed that conservatives have any more fear of death than anyone. That would be completely at odds with terror management theory or the research that has been done to test hypotheses derived from it. This is something anyone who has read our work would know. The point is that conservative ideology is a type of worldview that people use to protect themselves against a fear of death that is a natural consequence of wanting to live and knowing that you must die. Just as liberal ideology is. Just as science and religion are. When people are reminded of death, they cling more to the aspects of their worldviews that protect them from this fear. Conservatives and liberals do it -- but birds and educated fleas do not. There is some evidence that conservative ideology might be especially useful in providing protection but the jury is out as to whether that is inherent in conservative ideology or particular to the particulars of today's culture.
The only sense I can make out of it is a claim that people become more extreme in their views (whatever those views may be) when they think about death. That is a fairly humdrum proposal but does not correspond to how other researchers see the Pyszczynski work. Note this quote about the Pyszczynski work, for instance:
"Terror management research has typically found that people respond harshly toward offending others when reminded of their mortality".
Clearly, Pyszczynski has been claiming that death anxiety moves you towards a SPECIFIC view, not simply a more extreme view. And among Leftist psychologists, punitiveness has long been held to be a feature of conservatism -- which is why I have previously written on that subject (I found that impunitive people are the oddballs!).
At any event, Pyszczynski has clearly repudiated the summary of his work by Judis -- which is rather fun. I am a bit disappointed that he didn't deflate under attack as rapidly as Gilbert Harman but Harman is a genuinely acute thinker.
(For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here.)