Psy 203 Paper

Psy 203 Paper - 1 Running head: RACE, SELF-ESTEEM ON DEATH...

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1 Running head: RACE, SELF-ESTEEM ON DEATH WORD AND NEGATIVE AFFECT Effect of Race and Self-Esteem on Death Word Completions and Negative Affect 0021214821 Purdue University West Lafayette, IN
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2 Running head: RACE, SELF-ESTEEM ON DEATH WORD AND NEGATIVE AFFECT Abstract Limited research has been done in terror management theory (TMT) to see if challenging cultural worldviews can increase awareness of death. Thirty-seven male and 75 female students were given computer questionnaires relating to self-esteem, before viewing photos of either same race couples or mixed race couples followed by a word completion task and survey of negative affect. No significant differences emerged between groups for Death-Thought Accessibility, but higher negative affect occurred in the low self-esteem group. Future research implications and limitations are discussed. Keywords : terror management, mortality salience, race, cultural beliefs, death, world view, threat, prejudice
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3 Running head: RACE, SELF-ESTEEM ON DEATH WORD AND NEGATIVE AFFECT Effect of Belief Contradiction on Mortality Salience and its Relation to Terror Management Previous Terror Management Theory (TMT) research has focused on the effects of mortality salience (MS) in producing feelings of terror and tendency to affirm one’s own beliefs. Several studies have supported TMT but the authors fail to address theories or possibilities which would refute TMT. Furthermore, the studies were limited in breadth, since most were using Americans or Christians and focusing on religion and morals. Further study is needed using nonreligious characteristics such as race or sexual orientation. Plus part of TMT is the idea of the two-way street between belief affirmation and mortality salience. More research on the other direction of this two-way street needs to be done. That is, whether contradicting beliefs can arouse awareness of death. Solomon, Greenberg, and Pyszczynski (2000) evaluate various aspects within the broad TMT and the related research. One of the most horrifying uses of violence against dissimilar people in human history is genocide. Throughout life humans witness news stories and dramas portraying hateful killings such as those in Darfur, Rwanda, Bosnia, and especially the Holocaust. Memories of the Holocaust continue to permeate the current consciousness, through numerous movies, documentaries, and books such as The Diary of Anne Frank. Terrorism has gained a new relevance and set of questions in post 9-11 America. Ideas like suicide bombers confuse politicians and citizens alike. Psychologists wish to understand the basis of terrorism; and whether current terror management theories are correct in analyzing the causes for such violence and disdain. TMT is based upon the basic assumptions that humans are concerned with self-preservation, and that humans have the ability to imagine events as well as alternatives before acting (Solomon et al., 2000). The review by Solomon et al. (2000) explains it is our
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Psy 203 Paper - 1 Running head: RACE, SELF-ESTEEM ON DEATH...

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