Motivation and emotion/Book/2020/Terror management theory

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Terror management theory:
What is TMT and how can it be applied?

Overview[edit | edit source]

Terror management theory (TMT) was developed in 1986 by social psychologists Sheldon Solomon, Jeff Greenberg, and Tom Pyszcyzynski (2015). Based upon ideas of Pulitzer Prize winner Anthropologist Ernest Becker, whose novel the Denial of Death (1973) was a seminal piece of psychology and philosophical literature merged with Neo-Freudian theory on how our cultural ideas, values and symbols serve as an anxiety buffer from the fear of death (Becker, 1973). With human's unique combination of the instinct for life, coupled with our realisation of inevitable death, it creates an irremovable existential paradox which generates paralysing terror (Mikulincer, Florian, & Hirschberger, 2003).

Claiming that human activities are largely driven by our unconscious efforts of denying our own mortality, where humans build their own character into a culture to prevent ourselves from the devastating awareness of our underlying helplessness and terror of death (Denial of Death, 1973)[grammar?].

Ernest Becker's work was widely accepted and ultimately won the coveted Pulitzer Prize. When Solomon, Greenberg and Pyszcynski approached the American Psychological Society after the 1984 meeting of the Society of Experimental Social Psychology they were told to pursue empirical evidence surrounding this theory as up until then Ernest Becker's work was based only on theory (Lott, 2020). TMT was further researched in the Worm at the Core (2016) a book developed by Solomon, Greenberg and Pyszcynski. This theory posits that the tragic issue of the human condition is because of our enlarged and sophisticated neocortex and therefore only we can experience terror in absence of any looming danger.

TMT attempts to explain how the awareness of death plays a diverse role in aspects of life (Pyszczynski, Lockett, Greenberg & Solomon, 2020). Reminders of death seek to undermine psychological equilibrium exemplified through recent events such as the COVID-19 pandemic and the September 11th attacks. How individuals respond to these threats and implement ineffective terror management can contribute to psychological disorder and distress. Because of mankind's sophisticated cognitive abilities and awareness of the inevitability and anxiety of death, we face this anxiety even when we're not staring down the barrel of a gun. As a result, the brain must create a set of systems defenses and ways in which it can defend itself from its inherent mortality.

Focus question

[grammar?]* Think about what is going to occur to you when you pass away?

  • Will you feel any feel any different?

Mortality made salient[edit | edit source]

Figure 2. Proximal defences diagram focusing on the unconscious reminders of death (Cunningham, 2020).

The mechanisms of TMT work in a cascading fashion; mortality when made salient can occur in our conscious brain or our unconscious brain. Proximal defences seek to defend from the immediate issue of death whilst distal focuses on unconscious reminders of death (see Figure 2).

Distal and proximal defense[edit | edit source]

As our mortality is made salient, whether it be consciously or unconsciously as humans we handle it through our Proximal or Distal Defenses depending on the severity of the death reminder or if it lays in our subconscious or conscious attention.

  1. Proximal defences serve as our rational conscious efforts through which we seek to get rid of death thoughts (Solomon, Greenberg & Pyszcyzynski, 2015). This is achieved through repressing uncomfortable thoughts, distracting ourselves or pushing the issue to the future (Solomon, Greenberg & Pyszcyzynski, 2015). When death-related thoughts are in our focal attention, proximal defences activate to suppress thoughts or push them into the future by denying our vulnerability[citation needed]. Another defence strategy includes engaging in healthier behaviour to ensure a longer life (Pyszczynski, Lockett, Greenberg & Solomon, 2020).
  2. Distal defences have no logical or semantic relation to the problem of death, occurring when death thoughts are on the fringes of our consciousness. Distal defenses occur as a means of protecting the mind subconsciously from the terror of death. With a large amount of TMT literature suggesting that distal defenses affirm cultural worldviews, maximizing self esteem through the use of interpersonal relationships (Pyszczynski, Lockett, Greenberg & Solomon, 2020).

An analogy to understand

"Proximal and Distal Defense serve as psychological security to manage incoming death reminders. This could be represented as an old house full of holes in the ceiling caught in the middle of a rainstorm. You decide to place buckets around the house to catch any rainfall that finds its way in. The rain represents death ideas; the roof is your distal defense and the buckets your proximal. The roof serves to keep water from bucketing into the house just as distal serves from keeping the many death thoughts out in your day to day life, whilst the buckets that collect the raindrops act as your proximal defense keeping the house dry. This analogy symbolizes how these defenses hinder the overwhelming reminders of our death" (p.172 Solomon, Greenberg & Pyszcyzynski, 2015).

Anxiety buffering system[edit | edit source]

The mechanisms making up distal defenses fall under the anxiety buffering system, [grammar?] this system is then broken into three interrelated mechanisms self esteem, cultural worldview and close interpersonal relationships. Working to buffer anxiety and allow the death thoughts to remain out of focal attention while re-affirming the individuals culture is unique and should be placed above all others.

Self esteem From a TMT perspective, self esteem is vital in assuring us we are valuable individuals in the universe, a cultural construction which serves as our main anxiety buffering mechanism (Pyszczynski, Greenberg & Solomon, 1997). Wth cultural differences in how we strive for self-esteem and maintain it changing across settings it is important when inspecting how some cultures may maximize self-esteem.
Cultural worldview Humans invest into a cultural worldview which helps to buffer themselves from the inherent knowledge of their vulnerability to mortality. Although we take our culture for granted, it is actually a fragile human construction that we spend vast amounts of energy creating, maintaining and defending (Solomon, Greenberg & Pyszcyzynski, 2015). Cultural worldview answers questions about life, standards for behavior and the promise of literal or symbolic immortality to this who live up to said standards. Literal immortality provides hope that life will continue after physical death, demonstrated through heaven, reincarnation or meeting afterlife spirits (Solomon, Greenberg & Pyszcyzynski, 2015). Symbolic refers to being a part of something greater than yourself long after you decease and this is passed on through family, ones nation or creed, or through others memories (Peters, Greenberg & Williams et al., 2005).
Close interpersonal relationships Close relationships provide validation of our world-views helping to maximize self esteem which is vital to maintain confidence as well as providing security in their own right. Death reminders seek to motivate the formation and maintenance of close relationships, [grammar?] secondly these relationships seek to form a symbolic defense against the terror of death by allowing the individuals to feel useful and wanted in their world (Mikulincer, Florian & Hirschberger, 2003).

An analogy to understand

How individuals strive and consolidate self esteem differs form[spelling?] culture to culture, [grammar?] one culture might value an act while another denigrates and despises it. An example of this would be in young Sambian men in Papua New Guinea rite of passage involves performing fellatio on the village elders. While the act of homosexuality isn't looked down on western society the age difference and power dynamics would be frowned upon in a western culture because of more conservative ideals [Rewrite to improve clarity] (Pyszczynski, , Greenberg & Solomon, 1997; "Ritual Homosexuality of the Sambia | Cultural Anthropology", 2020).

Terror management theory research[edit | edit source]

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Evidence of terror management[edit | edit source]

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Overview[edit | edit source]

Greenberg, Solomon and Pyszcysnki published "Evidence for terror management theory: I. The Effects of Mortality Salience on Reactions to Those Who Violate or Uphold Cultural Values" (Rosenblatt, Greenberg & Solomon et al ., 1989). This literature supports the premise of TMT that when Mortality is made salient we seek to strengthen our cultural worldview by derogating what we perceive to be cultural deviance.

Method[edit | edit source]

There were 15 male and 7 female judges who volunteered for this study. Half were then subjected to a brief open ended questionnaire about their thoughts and feelings of death whilst the second half of the group were are asked simple control questions. Judges were picked because they are trained to decision make based on rational decision making rather than their own beliefs, likewise prostitution was used as an emphasized example of a morally deviant crime. All Judges where then presented with a fictitious case about a prostitute delivering an illegal prostitution service..

Outcome[edit | edit source]

The findings were as predicted in experiment 1. When mortality was made salient, judges in the said group increased their average bond from $50 to $455, while the control kept the mean bond around $50 (Rosenblatt, Greenberg & Solomon et al ., 1989). With unfavorable outcomes increasing exponentially when Mortality Salience was presented to the Judges[grammar?]. Experiment 2 was conducted to examine limitations hypothesized that the results of experiment 1 had just induced a negative mood, the experiment was replicated however the Interpersonal Judgement Scale (IJS) was passed around to assess reactions to the experimenter. The same conditions where induced for mortality salience and control. This study backed up experiment one finding that the individuals didn't have any negative views on the experimenter but rather on those who they deemed as culturally deviant as seen in table 1.

Table 1

Mean Bond Assessments for Study 2 Interaction between Mortality Salience and Attitude Toward Prostitution

Attitude Towards Prostitution Mortality Salient Mortality Nonsalient
Favorable 145.83 117.86
Unfavourable 413.88 78.11

Note. Reprinted from Evidence for Terror Management Theory : I. The Effects of Mortality Salience on Reactions to Those Who Violate or Uphold Cultural Values by Rosenblatt, Greenberg, Solomon, Pyszczynski & Lyon, 1989, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology , 57(4), 681-690,

Applying terror management theory to performance: Can reminding individuals of their mortality increase strength output?[edit | edit source]

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Overview[edit | edit source]

The 2005 study by Peters, Greenberg, Williams & Schneider was one of the earliest studies that argued mortality salience significantly improves physical performance. Hypothesized that a reminder of mortality can motivate improved performance in a task requiring physical strength in an individual who values strength[grammar?]. This is on the premise that for these individuals, their self esteem is based on the outcome of lifting weights and therefore when mortality was made salient they would bolster self-esteem by showing greater strength. This research supports the application of TMT and its use in a sporting setting to increase output of higher levels of athletic performance when said performance is a determinant of cultural standards.

Method[edit | edit source]

A total of 54 female and 59 male college students were chosen based on their investment or non-investment in lifting weights; those who were more invested viewed lifting weights as an integral part of their culture and self esteem. Researchers made use of a hand dynamometer (HD) a hydraulic isometric grip strength measurement which ranges from 0 to 90 kg, a mortality salience instrument (MSI) which was a set of questions which primed participants with death by asking them questions pertaining to the emotions that the thought of death arouses in you and to write down specifically what you think will happen when you die or are dead, the dental pain control instrument (DCI) which served in the control condition to prime participants with dental pain which where replicated questions from the MSI but just pertaining to dental pain these questions serve to yield similar results as natural conditions. (Greenberg et al., 1997) and finally positive and negative affect scale (PANAS-X) this helps to show good reliability and convergent validity[Rewrite to improve clarity].

Outcome[edit | edit source]

The study found support for the TMT hypothesis, [grammar?] individuals who were found to be invested in strength when reminded of their mortality their was significant improvements to grip strength made. As people who were invested in lifting weights (when made morality salient), used the HD to help derive self esteem in the athletic culture. The researchers purpose was to enhance our understanding of a variety of behaviors to understand the effects of mortality salience in understanding how we prescribe to our culture and their subgroups sets of norms and standards.

Figure 3.[add decriptive caption] (Forbes, 2020)

Terror management theory health model: COVID-19[edit | edit source]

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Overview[edit | edit source]

Authors Pyszczynski, Lockett, Greenberg and Solomon, 2020 discussed the role of TMT and how it plays a diverse role in life, helping to understand the ways in which people have reacted to COVID-19. This paper presents the idea that whether we consciously believe that the virus is a major threat to our life or a minor inconvenience the fear of death drives our attitudes and behaviours because of the exposure a salient mortality from the virus (Pyszczynski, Lockett & Greenberg et al., 2020). The purpose of this research is to further explore the ways in which distal and proximal defenses push and pull at our psyche to undermine psychological equilibrium, causing people to act out in diverse ways and incite psychological disorder as a response to the pandemic.

Proximal defenses[edit | edit source]

The thought of death creates an attempt to remove negative thoughts from consciousness. This is expressed through suppression, denial, or altering behavior to reduce these thoughts, whether it be adaptive or maladaptive. We can view the issues arising around the pandemic through a TMT lens the evidence of increases in diversion seeking behavior such as alcohol consumption (Furnari, 2020), excessive eating (Ammar et al., 2020), and binge-watching television (Dixit, Marthoenis, Arafat et al., 2020, Pyszczynski, Lockett, Greenberg et al., 2020) present examples of maladaptive proximal responses.

Proximal defenses entail minimization of a perceived threat, exemplified through the theory that the virus is not nearly as contagious or lethal as health experts claim it to be, with it only having lethality to the vulnerable groups in society such as the elderly or individuals who have underlying health risks. Poor use of proximal defense in this case minimizes the threat of death to that of the common cold and in some cases attributing the COVID pandemic to that of a conspiracy theory (Romano, 2020)

While most examples listed are maladaptive to America's overall public health, there are some examples of adaptive forms of proximal defence. Some surveys suggest 92% of people have followed guidelines for avoiding infection, engaged in social distancing, increased sanitation practices, and engaged in other pro-health guidelines to curb the infection rate (Altman, 2020). However, the pandemic's economic and social isolation interfere with how people gain value and connection with their culture, a core premise on how we quell mortality concerns.

Distal defenses[edit | edit source]

Despite this modern day virus becoming an unfortunate part of our lives it is not always the focus of our attention. If it was their would be according to TMT literature an emergence and exacerbation of psychological disorders. As distal defenses focus on affirming cultural worldview and maximizing self esteem (Pyszczynski, Lockett, Greenberg et al., 2020). Research has shown a clear partisan divide with Republicans tending to view the virus as being much more dangerous then their Democrat counterparts[say what?] (Funk et al., 2020; Ritter, 2020). While conservatives view the virus as less dangerous making use of more maladaptive proximal defenses by obscuring the lethality of the virus while also affirming their cultural view to assign blame to China and other foreign countries as part of a conspiracy to discredit Donald Trump (Romano, 2020)

Pyszczynski, Lockett, Greenberg and Solomon posit a paradox occurring as a result of the clash between the mortality of salience (COVID-19) and what is perceived as a chance to maximize self esteem in a cultural worldview (protest over George Floyd's death). Many of the protesters attending about the death are the same who are viewed to obey the health guidelines around the pandemic, however death salience can increase as people attend these protests in large groups they increase the potential for them to be infected. Thus the precarious position is shown with protesters caught between defending their worldview and also having their death salience increased.

Discussion[edit | edit source]

Psychological researchers examine the polarization of both parties in the face of the COVID pandemic through the lens of TMT with analysis showing that Mortality Salience as a cause for this issue (Burke, Kosloff & Landau, 2013)[how can there be a 2013 citation for a 2020 event?]. Pyszczynski, Lockett, Greenberg & Solomon examine how the recent killing of African-American man George Floyd was far from the first killing of its kind but had clearly led to the most intense and widespread anger and outrage then any of them. Although the terror management theory agrees that their was perhaps the straw that broke the camels[grammar?] back, they also argue that the widespread accessibility of the mortality associated with the pandemic was a valid explanation . With both sides viewing the death as a chance to maximize their self-esteem in their culture the need to manage the terror of death helped to balance the other issues facing the American public such as loss of jobs, income and the growing levels of social isolation.

Quiz[edit | edit source]

Here are some simple example quiz questions the answers will lie within the previously mentioned articles

Choose the correct answers and click "Submit":

1 What did the bond change to when reminded of mortality ?


2 COVID-19 has caused the further ________ of both American political parties.

Strong relationship

Clinical application of TMT: Existential psychotherapy[edit | edit source]

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Existential and its "givens"[edit | edit source]

Existential therapy and TMT both offer answers to death awareness, although they both offer different theoretical bases their integration can help bridge the gap between each theory. Awareness of death is bittersweet, associated with anxiety, fear and experiential avoidance (Lewis, 2013). However, when we come to terms with our existential woes we can become more authentic, inspiring and add to something bigger then ourselves (Greenberg, Koole, & Pyszczynski, 2004). Existential therapy is based upon the fundamental belief that all people experience intra-psychic conflict because of the human "givens"; death, freedom and its associated responsibility, isolation and meaningless. A confrontation with any of these givens makes us experience existential anxiety. This leads to reductions in an individuals[grammar?] psychological, social and spiritual awareness (Existential Psychotherapy, 2020). Existential therapy can also be used as by mental health practitioners who are aware of how the fear of death contributes and aggravates psychological disorders (Solomon, Greenberg & Pyszcyzynski, 2015).

Core concepts[edit | edit source]

  1. Treat all clients as unique individuals
  2. Authentic relationship building with the client
  3. Acquaint yourself with their worldview, personal goal and get to know their social connections
  4. Help the client realize that the therapist is like them, not immune to broad existential concerns and own personal psychological difficulties
  5. Stress that as a human they have freedom and responsibility; the element of choice is always present for the client along with the consequence.

Conclusion[edit | edit source]

Supported by responsibility and freedom of choice, these concepts help enhance a reliable and authentic relationship; with terror management resources tackling three common existential difficulties (meaningless, isolation, and death) (Solomon et al., 2015).

The mutual concern of TMT researchers and existential psychologists have been focused on the dilemma and psychological burden of death anxiety. Constant awareness can lead to negative distal and proximal defenses responses. Existential intervention involves the use of therapeutic mortality salience helping to improve a clients[grammar?] ability to cope with their own psychological and cultural resources. When allowing individuals to rely on their worldview they may feel more affirmed in their cultural identities and be able to buffer anxiety more efficiently.

Strengths and limitations of terror management theory[edit | edit source]

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Weaknesses[edit | edit source]

The wide scope of TMT runs the risk of criticism for being too broad while attempting to explain specific situational and cultural links (Jonas et al., 2008). Much of the research supporting the theory has been published by theorists Pyszczynski, Greenberg, and Solomon {{gr} their level of investment can lead to questions of author bias. Replication failure was found by Klein, Cook, Ebersole, Vitiello, Nosek, Chartier, Ratliff, in a 2019 study in which they replicated a 1994 study titled "Role of Consciousness and Accessibility of Death-Related Thoughts in Mortality Salience Effects" by authors Solomon, Greenberg & Pyszcyzynski. Failing to find support for the mortality salience effect on cultural worldview defense, with psychologists in over 20 labs in America re-executing the original experiment with 2200 participants[grammar?]. However Tom Pyszczynski stated that Klein had not followed the original pre-registered protocol failing to mention any such deviations and failure to follow their highly justified protocols has led to them finding an incorrect conclusion inadvertently causing irreversible damage for their psychological science.

Strengths[edit | edit source]

In the opinion of the author and that of (Leary & Schreindorfer, 1997) TMT helped to bring to the forefront of motivational research a theory which is a push away from the domination of micro-theories and more towards that off a grand-theory. The domain will benefit greatly from new broad, integrative domains of research although TMT may be viewed as being overly broad it is still viewed as a breath of fresh air in the motivation theoretical landscape (Leary & Schreindorfer, 1997).

TMT and its authors have succeeded in gaining a heuristic value research and subsequent novels being written (Pyszczynski, 2003) about the death awareness facet of motivation, with the usefulness of the theory being judged on how it can connect previously unconnected conceptual ideas, invigorate research and promote discussion.

Although, it is argued that TMT is always going to be vulnerable to its own theoretical weaknesses; these include generalisability, validity and replicability. The main outcome of the decades of research has been a greater insight into the role that death awareness has on how we travel through life.

Conclusion[edit | edit source]

TMT is a broad theoretical model encompassing defense mechanisms which accounts for the ultimate existential "given" that we all must encounter at various times though our lives; death. The pull and push between proximal and vital defenses parallels to how our brain is in a constant tug of war between our ID, ego and superego. TMT seems to be a continuation and refinement of how our animalistic brain clashes with out sophisticated brain to try and make sense of death and what we become after. Explained through humans[grammar?] need for religion, meaning and continuation through family bonds[grammar?]. The all-encompassing theory still has its weaknesses, shown to be supported by multiple studies, books, and documentaries.

The mechanisms of the anxiety buffering system are all interrelated accounting for core principles in many other psychological theories with personal relationships, cultural acceptance and self-esteem being stock and standard facets of a functioning human being. Future research should focus on individuals who have explored their mortality, and have potentially come to terms with how this should be researched, would those who've used "death cafes"[explain?] be able to withstand the need to maximize their self esteem when mortality was made salient? Or is it simply a way in which our proximal defense work by attempting to minimise the perception of death in an adaptive way[grammar?].

Further research should also focus on how we battle existential dread in a modern secular world, shown through advances into cryogenics and more subtly by attempting to cure cancer, or uploading our human awareness to a hard drive. These questions remain to be answered through a TMT to see if it can be a truly grand theory of motivation.

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

Above The Law. (2020). Cartoon Judge [Image]. Retrieved from

Altman, D. (2020). Most Americans are practicing social distancing. Retrieved 14 October 2020, from

Ammar, A., Brach, M., Trabelsi, K., Chtourou, H., Boukhris, O., & Masmoudi, L. et al. (2020). Effects of COVID-19 Home Confinement on Eating Behaviour and Physical Activity: Results of the ECLB-COVID19 International Online Survey. Nutrients, 12(6), 1583. doi: 10.3390/nu12061583

Becker, E. (1973). The Denial of Death (1st ed.). Blackwells.

Burke, B., Kosloff, S., & Landau, M. (2013). Death Goes to the Polls: A Meta-Analysis of Mortality Salience Effects on Political Attitudes. Political Psychology, 34(2), 183-200. doi: 10.1111/pops.12005

Chatard, A., Hirschberger, G., & Pyszczynski, T. (2020, February 7). A Word of Caution about Many Labs 4: If You Fail to Follow Your Preregistered Plan, You May Fail to Find a Real Effect.

Dixit, A., Marthoenis, M., Arafat, S., Sharma, P., & Kar, S. (2020). Binge watching behavior during COVID 19 pandemic: A cross-sectional, cross-national online survey. Psychiatry Research, 289, 113089. doi: 10.1016/j.psychres.2020.113089

Existential Psychotherapy. (2020). Retrieved 14 October 2020, from https://www.goodtherapy.og/learn-about-therapy/types/existential-psychotherapy

Funk, C., Kennedy, B., & Johnson, C. (2020). Trust in Medical Scientists Has Grown in U.S., but Mainly Among Democrats. Retrieved 14 October 2020, from

Furnari C. (2020). Are Americans drinking their way through the coronavirus pandemic? Forbes;

Gallup, I. (2020). Republicans Still Skeptical of COVID-19 Lethality. Retrieved 14 October 2020, from

Greenberg, J., Solomon, S., & Pyszczynski, T. (1997). Terror management theory of self-esteem and cultural worldviews: Empirical assessments and conceptual refinements. In M. P. Zanna (Ed.), Advances in experimental social psychology, Vol. 29 (p. 61–139). Academic Press.

Hill, F. (2020). What It’s Like to Visit an Existential Therapist. Retrieved 16 October 2020, from

Jonas, E., Martens, A., Niesta Kayser, D., Fritsche, I., Sullivan, D., & Greenberg, J. (2008). Focus theory of normative conduct and terror-management theory: The interactive impact of mortality salience and norm salience on social judgment. Journal Of Personality And Social Psychology, 95(6), 1239-1251. doi: 10.1037/a0013593

Klein, R. A., Cook, C. L., Ebersole, C. R., Vitiello, C. A., Nosek, B. A., Chartier, C. R., … Ratliff, K. A. (2019, December 11). Many Labs 4: Failure to Replicate Mortality Salience Effect With and Without Original Author Involvement.

Leary, M., & Schreindorfer, L. (1997). Unresolved issues With Terror Management Theory. Psychological Inquiry, 8(1), 26-29. doi: 10.1207/s15327965pli0801_4

Lee, B. (2020). No, COVID-19 Coronavirus Was Not Bioengineered. Here’s The Research That Debunks That Idea. Retrieved 14 October 2020, from

Lott, T. (2020). The Worm at the Core: On the Role of Death in Life – review. The Guardian, p. 1. Retrieved from

Mikulincer, M., Florian, V., & Hirschberger, G. (2003). The Existential Function of Close Relationships: Introducing Death Into the Science of Love. Personality And Social Psychology Review, 7(1), 20-40. doi: 10.1207/s15327957pspr0701_2

Peters, H. J., Greenberg, J., Williams, J. M., & Schneider, N. R. (2005). Applying terror management theory to performance: Can reminding individuals of their mortality increase strength output? Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 27(1), 111-116.

Pyszczynski, T. (2003). In the Wake of 9/11 (1st ed., pp. 1-227). Chicago: American Psychological Association.

Romano A. (2020). Study: Nearly a third of Americans believe a conspiracy theory about the origins of the coronavirus. Vox;

Rosenblatt, A., Greenberg, J., Solomon, S., Pyszczynski, T., & Lyon, D. (1989). Evidence for terror management theory: I. The effects of mortality salience on reactions to those who violate or uphold cultural values. Journal Of Personality And Social Psychology, 57(4), 681-690. doi: 10.1037/0022-3514.57.4.681

Ritual Homosexuality of the Sambia | Cultural Anthropology. (2020). Retrieved 7 October 2020, from

Solomon, S., Greenberg, J., & Pyszczynski, T. (2016). The Worm at the Core (1st ed.). Penguin Press.