Does awareness of death strengthen awareness of self? The effects of existential threat on self-focus

Chih Long Yen, Chung-Ping Cheng, Chin Lan Huang, Yi Cheng Lin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Drawing on Kelly's (1955) personal construct theory, which suggests that human constructs typically contain their opposites. This study proposed that people facing death threat might be prompted to concern their existence, therefore pay more attentions on themselves. Two studies were conducted to explore the effects of death threat on self-focus. Study one analyzed data of six mortality salience experiments by using Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count (LIWC) text analysis program. Study two was a case study analyzing a cancer patient’s writings. Both studies found that people use more first-person singular pronouns when reminded of their mortality. The results indicated that death threat increases self-focus.

Original languageEnglish
JournalCurrent Psychology
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Jan 1

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Psychology(all)

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