heroism, terror management, identification, death thoughts
Three studies examine hypotheses derived from terror management theory to investigate the relationship between mortality concerns and hero identification. Study 1 found reminders of death, followed by a distraction task and a self-prime, led to greater inclusion of heroes in the self. Study 2 found that writing about a personal hero, but not other’s heroes or acquaintances, led to lower death-thought accessibility after being reminded of mortality. Finally, Study 3 found that after death reminders, participants led to identify with a hero exemplifying traits of legacy and/or sacrifice showed lower death thought accessibility. Findings are discussed as generative for heroism research, informing a previously overlooked motivation underlying hero identification and the existential function of such identification.
Self and Identity
McCabe, Simon; Carpenter, Ryan; and Arndt, Jamie, "The role of mortality awareness in hero identification" (2016). Psychology Faculty Works. 92.
Available at: https://irl.umsl.edu/psychology-faculty/92