The Terror Management Theory

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Before I start let me explain exactly what the 9/11 generation is. The 9/11 generation is a reference to those in the population who were 15 years or younger when the September 11th attacks occurred. I am a part of the 9/11 generation as I was in 5th grade when this tragedy occurred. At this age me and a lot of my peers couldn't really grasp the magnitude of this single event and how it could possibly shape our views of the world as we know it.

Psychologist have come to know humans to seek out comfort, unity and patterns when we feel a loss of control over our surroundings. The terror management theory is an example of this, it states our awareness of our own inevitable death leaves us to adapt comforting views; individuals also heighten the liking of similar others and accentuate their dislike of dissimilar others. In the article it stated that "the terror management theory would predict individuals to respond to the tragedy with fear, racism and increased patriotism". Following the attacks Islam, the Middle East and terrorism was brought to headlines and given full attention from the news media and citizens alike across the US. However it is not all negative as many citizens also became sensitive of the Islamic faith and stereotypes and a sense of unity/patriotism was created by Americans.

The terror management theory also predicted individuals would react with fear. Following the attacks the USA was driven into a justified mass hysteria at the thought of another terrorist attack. Terrorism became a real life threat and the sense of security was lowered for citizens. The article states the 9/11 generation would grow up fearing others and the world itself, basically adopting the "scary world syndrome". However it also states that people would respond with enthusiasm, embracing others and stressing a need for change. These are both pretty valid arguments and I therefore ask what do you believe has happened following the September 11th attacks?


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Terror Management Theory is a hot topic these days in social psychology so you might want to revisit this when we discuss social later in the semester Elijah.

You might want to check out a very cool movie on this topic called "Flight from Death"

I witnessed 9/11 while living in NYC. Many of the things you mentioned happened to me and people I knew in NYC at the time.

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This page contains a single entry by anwey001 published on October 2, 2011 9:32 PM.

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