To Fight Calamity or Forfeit Humanity: Coping with the Terror of Total Termination
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractPrevious research in TMT reveals that mortality salience (MS; or a death reminder) increases pro-social giving tendencies and consumerism, both serving to shield death-related concerns. However, little is known about resoponse to the extinction of humanity, which may to some degree operate as a mortality reminder. Using global warming as an extinction prompt, we will investigate the effects of communal extinction on preferences for environmentally-friendly products that may combat the extinction threat. Preferences for eniromentally friendly aspects of consumer products as influenced by the experimental manipulation is predicted to be moderated by individual differences in locus of control. Internal locus of control was predicted to generate greater value for environmentally-friendly characteristics that have been socially valued to minimize global warming. Because external locus of control involves a perception of diminished personal influence on the external world, global mortality salience was predicted to trigger a decreased concern for ―green‖ product characteristics among individuals subscribing to this viewpoint. However, we found Mortality Salience to be the biggest catalyst for favoring green-oriented consumer items above and beyond the extinction prompt of Global Warming.
Degree ProgramHonors College