Exploring the effects of self-esteem and mortality salience on proximal and distally measured death anxiety: a further test of the dual process model of terror management

Abeyta, Andrew; Juhl, Jacob; Routledge, Clay
August 2014
Motivation & Emotion;Aug2014, Vol. 38 Issue 4, p523
Academic Journal
The dual process model of terror management theory posits that proximal and distal defenses prevent death-related cognition from leading to death-anxiety. Further, the theory identifies self-esteem as a trait level resource that helps people avoid the awareness of death-anxiety. However, to date, no studies have examined the proximal and distal effects of death-related cognition and self-esteem on death-anxiety. In the present study, we assessed trait self-esteem, manipulated the awareness of death (mortality salience), and measured death-anxiety either immediately (proximally) or after a delay/distraction task (distally). Mortality salience did not lead to increased death-anxiety immediately after the mortality salience, but did so after a delay. Furthermore, this distal increase in death anxiety was only observed at low levels of self-esteem.


Related Articles

  • A Summary of the Mortality Salience Effect: A Theory against Death. Xuemei Yi; Hong Li; Qinglin Zhang // Advances in Psychology (21607273);Nov2013, Vol. 3 Issue 6, p327 

    Mortality salience effect refers to psychological defense systems as the wordview defense/ self-esteem. In this paper, major viewpoints, strategies and researches are illuminated. However, complicated factors as culture and characteristics, make laboratory studies criticized by insufficient...

  • Don't Fear the Reaper: Trait Death Anxiety, Mortality Salience, and Occupational Health. Sliter, Michael T.; Zhenyu Yuan; Sinclair, Robert R.; Mohr, Cynthia D. // Journal of Applied Psychology;Jul2014, Vol. 99 Issue 4, p759 

    Despite multiple calls for research, there has been little effort to incorporate topics regarding mortality salience and death anxiety into workplace literature. As such, the goals of the current study were to (a) examine how trait differences in death anxiety relate to employee occupational...

  • The Divergent Effects of Mortality Salience of Self versus Mortality Salience of a Loved One on Materialistic Consumption. Yanan Wang // Journal of Research for Consumers;2015, Issue 26, p106 

    In the present research, we argue that there are two distinct types of mortality salience, namely mortality salience of self (MSS) which is awareness of one's own death and mortality salience of a loved one (MSLO) which is awareness of the death of a loved one. Studies based on Terror Management...

  • Saving Can Save from Death Anxiety: Mortality Salience and Financial Decision-Making. Zaleskiewicz, Tomasz; Gasiorowska, Agata; Kesebir, Pelin // PLoS ONE;Nov2013, Vol. 8 Issue 11, p1 

    Four studies tested the idea that saving money can buffer death anxiety and constitute a more effective buffer than spending money. Saving can relieve future-related anxiety and provide people with a sense of control over their fate, thereby rendering death thoughts less threatening. Study 1...

  • Life cycle inventories of electricity generation and power supply in version 3 of the ecoinvent database-part I: electricity generation. Treyer, Karin; Bauer, Christian // International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment;Sep2016, Vol. 21 Issue 9, p1236 

    Purpose: Life cycle inventories (LCI) of electricity generation and supply are among the main determining factors regarding life cycle assessment (LCA) results. Therefore, consistency and representativeness of these data are crucial. The electricity sector has been updated and substantially...

  • Inhibition Underlies the Effect of High Need for Closure on Cultural Closed-Mindedness under Mortality Salience. Agroskin, Dmitrij; Jonas, Eva; Klackl, Johannes; Prentice, Mike // Frontiers in Psychology;10/25/2016, Vol. 7, p1 

    The hypothesis that people respond to reminders of mortality with closed-minded, ethnocentric attitudes has received extensive empirical support, largely from research in the Terror Management Theory (TMT) tradition. However, the basic motivational and neural processes that underlie this effect...

  • 'Smoking Can't Hurt Me!' and Other Death-Related Thoughts: A Test of Terror Management and Risk Perceptions. Martin, Ingrid M.; Kamins, Michael // Advances in Consumer Research - European Conference Proceedings;2008, Vol. 8, p72 

    Consumer behavior researchers and public policy makers continue to be plagued with the problem of creating communications which can increase the probability of complying with risk avoidance behavior such as smoking. Using Terror Management Theory as a theoretical basis, we conducted a field...

  • How Gender and Self-Esteem Impact Death Anxiety Across Adulthood. JACKSON, BRENDA R. // Psi Chi Journal of Undergraduate Research;Summer2008, Vol. 13 Issue 2, p96 

    This study explores the impact of and interactions between age, gender, and self-esteem on death anxiety. The 136 participants consisted of 3 age-groups (18-25, 35-50, 60+), and were students, faculty/staff or emeriti members at a Christian liberal arts university. Participants took the Revised...

  • Creative Consumption after Mortality Salience: Compared to What, for Whom, What Tasks? And a Time Horizon Issue. Huimin Xu; Brucks, Merrie L.; Lin Guo // Journal of Research for Consumers;2014, Issue 24, p1 

    Consumers frequently pursue creative activities without practical concerns. This research investigates a less intuitive driver of such creative consumption--existential thoughts--and seeks to understand under what circumstances mortality salience stimulates creative consumption. We found that...


Read the Article


Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics