Terror Management Theory and Self-Esteem: Evidence That Increased Self-Esteem Reduces Mortality Salience Effects

Eddie Harmon-Jones, Linda Simon, Jeff Greenberg, Sheldon Solomon, Tom Pyszczynski, Holly McGregor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

443 Scopus citations

Abstract

On the basis of the terror management theory proposition that self-esteem provides protection against concerns about mortality, it was hypothesized that self-esteem would reduce the worldview defense produced by mortality salience (MS). The results of Experiments 1 and 2 confirmed this hypothesis by showing that individuals with high self-esteem (manipulated in Experiment 1; dispositional in Experiment 2) did not respond to MS with increased worldview defense, whereas individuals with moderate self-esteem did. The results of Experiment 3 suggested that the effects of the first 2 experiments may have occurred because high self-esteem facilitates the suppression of death constructs following MS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)24-36
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Personality and Social Psychology
Volume72
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1997
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science

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