Terror Mismanagement: Evidence That Mortality Salience Exacerbates Phobic and Compulsive Behaviors

@article{Strachan2007TerrorME,
  title={Terror Mismanagement: Evidence That Mortality Salience Exacerbates Phobic and Compulsive Behaviors},
  author={Eric Strachan and Jeff Schimel and Jamie Arndt and Todd J. Williams and Sheldon Solomon and Tom Pyszczynski and Jeff Greenberg},
  journal={Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin},
  year={2007},
  volume={33},
  pages={1137 - 1151}
}
Terror management theory (TMT) posits that cultural worldviews and self-esteem function to buffer humans from mortality-related anxiety. TMT research has shown that important behaviors are influenced by mortality salience (MS) even when they have no obvious connection to death. However, there has been no attempt to investigate TMT processes in anxious responding. The present research examines that question. In Study 1, compared to a control condition, MS increased anxious responding to spider… 
Terror mismanagement: evidence that mortality salience exacerbates attentional bias in social anxiety
TLDR
The findings suggest that reminders of death may heighten initial vigilance towards social threat, and that attentional bias in social anxiety is a core feature of social anxiety.
Inhibition Underlies the Effect of High Need for Closure on Cultural Closed-Mindedness under Mortality Salience
TLDR
This research is the first to establish an empirical link between very basic, neurally-instantiated inhibitory processes and rather complex, higher-order manifestations of intergroup negativity in response to MS.
Death Anxiety and Its Relationship With Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
TLDR
The studies presented in this article explored the relevance of death fears to Obsessive Compulsive Disorder by using the mortality salience (MS) paradigm to examine whether experimentally manipulated death cognitions exacerbate compulsive cleaning behaviors among OCD washers.
Specific Phobias: Maintaining Control in the Face of Chaotic Threats
Introduction: Drawing on existential psychology we examine the possibility that specific phobias can serve a psychological function. Specifically, we propose that phobic objects allow individuals to
Terror Management Theory and Psychological Disorder
The impact of mortality salience effects on consumer behaviour
Terror management theory (TMT) has proven that reminders of death intensify efforts to engage in culturally prescribed behaviour. Individuals tend to exhibit cultural worldview defences when
Anxiety buffer disruption: Worldview threat, death thought accessibility, and worldview defense among low and high posttraumatic stress symptom samples.
TLDR
Findings supported the present hypotheses derived from anxiety buffer disruption theory, are important for understanding the existential dimension of posttraumatic stress, and may have implications for mental health.
A quiet ego quiets death anxiety: humility as an existential anxiety buffer.
  • Pelin Kesebir
  • Psychology
    Journal of personality and social psychology
  • 2014
TLDR
Findings obtained from relatively diverse Internet samples illustrate that the dark side of death anxiety is brought about by a noisy ego only and not by a quiet ego, revealing self-transcendence as a sturdier, healthier anxiety buffer than self-enhancement.
Anxiety buffer disruption theory: a terror management account of posttraumatic stress disorder
TLDR
Four sets of studies conducted in four different cultures and with people who have experienced different types of trauma reveal this atypical response pattern and lend support to ABDT, which posits that PTSD results from a disruption in one's anxiety-buffering mechanisms.
...
...

References

SHOWING 1-10 OF 60 REFERENCES
Suppression, accessibility of death-related thoughts, and cultural worldview defense: exploring the psychodynamics of terror management.
TLDR
Study 3 demonstrated that worldview defense in response to MS reduces the delayed increase in death accessibility, suggesting that a person's initial response to conscious thoughts of mortality is to actively suppress death thoughts.
Terror Management and Self-Awareness: Evidence that Mortality Salience Provokes Avoidance of the Self-Focused State
Two studies assessed the terror management hypothesis that when mortality is salient, people will avoid stimuli that increase self-awareness. In Study 1, we measured the length of time that
I am not an animal: mortality salience, disgust, and the denial of human creatureliness.
TLDR
Investigating the need to distinguish humans from animals and testing the hypothesis derived from terror management theory that this need stems in part from existential mortality concerns found that reminders of death led to an increased emotional reaction of disgust to body products and animals.
Phobic beliefs: do cognitive factors play a role in specific phobias?
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder: Theory, Research, and Treatment
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder: Theory, Research, and Treatment Richard P. Swinson, Martin M. Antony, Stanley Rachman, and Margaret A. Richter (Eds.). London: Guilford Press (www.guilford.com). 1998,
The Effects of Mortality Salience on Self-Serving Attributions-Evidence for the Function of Self-Esteem as a Terror Management Mechanism
Three studies examined the effects of mortality salience on self-serving attributions. In Study 1 (N = 60), participants were exposed to mortality salience or control conditions and rated
EFFECTS OF STATE ANXIETY ON SELECTIVE PROCESSING OF THREATENING INFORMATION
The conceptualisation of Stroop interference as a state versus stable quality was examined in 23 spider-fearful and 23 control subjects. Stroop colournaming response latencies were examined after an
Preparedness and phobias: Specific evolved associations or a generalized expectancy bias?
  • G. Davey
  • Psychology, Biology
    Behavioral and Brain Sciences
  • 1995
TLDR
It is suggested that the readiness with which such stimuli become associated with aversive outcomes arises from biases in the processing of information about threatening stimuli rather than from phylogenetically based associative predispositions or “biological preparedness".
...
...