Article

The role of mortality awareness in heroic enactment

Details

Citation

McCabe S, Carpenter RW & Arndt J (2015) The role of mortality awareness in heroic enactment. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 61, pp. 104-109. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jesp.2015.08.001

Abstract
Despite being derived from the work of cultural anthropologist Ernest Becker and the breadth of research it has inspired, terror management theory (TMT) has yet to programmatically examine a major focus of Becker's writings: the relationship between mortality concerns and heroism. The present research investigates whether mortality reminders motivate behavior linked with heroism, and whether such behavior functions to decrease thoughts of death. Findings indicate that after reminders of death and linking pain tolerance to heroism, participants reported less pain on a cold pressor task (CPT). Further, those reminded of death and given false-feedback indicating heroic performance on the CPT, i.e., significant levels of pain tolerance, had lower death thought accessibility. Findings are discussed as generative for heroism research, informing a motivation underlying heroic enactment, and also theoretically important for TMT, informing how heroism may promote attainment of cultural values even in the face of adversity.

Keywords
Heroism; Terror management; Pain; Culture

Journal
Journal of Experimental Social Psychology: Volume 61

StatusPublished
Publication date30/11/2015
Publication date online14/08/2015
Date accepted by journal12/08/2015
URLhttp://hdl.handle.net/1893/22583
PublisherElsevier
ISSN0022-1031

People (1)

People

Dr Simon McCabe
Dr Simon McCabe

Lecturer, Management, Work and Organisation