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Article in Journal ()

When existence is not futile: The influence of mortality salience on the longer-is-better effect

Citation
McCabe S, Spina M & Arndt J (2016) When existence is not futile: The influence of mortality salience on the longer-is-better effect, British Journal of Social Psychology, 55 (3), pp. 600-611.

Abstract
This research examines how death reminders impact the valuation of objects of various ages. Building from the existence bias, the longer-is-better effect posits that which exists is good and that which has existed for longer is better. Integrating terror management theory, it was reasoned that mortality reminders fostering a motivation to at least symbolically transcend death would lead participants to evaluate older object more positively as they signal robustness of existence. Participants were reminded of death (vs. control) and evaluated new, 20-, or 100-year-old objects. Results indicated death reminders resulted in greater valuation of older objects. Findings are discussed with implications for terror management theory, the longer-is-better effect, ageism, materialism, and consumer behaviour.

Keywords
culture;legacy; longer is better; death; existence bias; terror management

StatusPublished
AuthorsMcCabe Simon, Spina Melissa, Arndt Jamie
Publication date09/2016
Publication date online04/04/2016
Date accepted by journal16/03/2016
PublisherWiley-Blackwell for the British Psychological Society
ISSN 0144-6665
LanguageEnglish

Journal
British Journal of Social Psychology: Volume 55, Issue 3

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