Terror Management Theory

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Terror Management Theory has to do with human behavior being motivated by the fear of mortality. Some people spend their entire lives trying to make sense of their presence in this world because of a very profound anxiety that takes over. This theory has to do with self-esteem. People measure their own worth based on how well they live up to their culture's expectations. Being aware of our own death leaves many people with a sense of terror. By adopting cultural world views that reassure us that our lives have meaning and a purpose, we are able to cope with this terror. Terror Management Theory can help explain certain beliefs such as astrology, ESP, and communication with the dead. This could potentially be important in different situations of crime or shocking deaths. If people can get in touch with the dead, they can find out information they never knew. I can apply this theory to my life in relation to astrology. I believe in reading horoscopes every day and what they have to say. Since Terror Management Theory can explain beliefs about astrology, I am able to learn more about it through this theory. One question I have is, in the past, how has this theory applied to people's beliefs? For example, paranormal beliefs. I found this theory very interesting to learn about because I didn't know anything about it before.

http://www.socialemotiveneuroscience.org/pubs/hj_etal97tm.pdf

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