Research output

Article in Journal ()

The impact of death-awareness on sizes of self-representational objects

McCabe S, Arndt J & Vail K (2018) The impact of death-awareness on sizes of self-representational objects, British Journal of Social Psychology, 57 (1), pp. 174-188.

People seem to have a tendency to increase the relative size of self-representational objects. Prior research suggests that motivational factors may fuel that tendency, so the present research built from terror management theory to examine whether existential motivations—engendered by concerns about death—may have similar implications for self-relevant size biases. Specifically, across two studies (total N = 288) we hypothesized that reminders of death would lead participants to inflate the size of self-representational objects. Both studies suggested that relative to reminders of pain, mortality salience led participants to construct larger clay sculptures of themselves (vs. others; Study 1) and a larger ostensible video-game avatar for the self (vs. others; Study 2).

mortality salience; size-bias; terror management theory; self-representation

AuthorsMcCabe Simon, Arndt Jamie, Vail Kenneth
Publication date01/2018
Publication date online30/10/2017
Date accepted by journal12/10/2017
ISSN 0144-6665

British Journal of Social Psychology: Volume 57, Issue 1

© University of Stirling FK9 4LA Scotland UK • Telephone +44 1786 473171 • Scottish Charity No SC011159
My Portal