Denying Death : An Interdisciplinary Approach to Terror Management Theory book cover
1st Edition

Denying Death
An Interdisciplinary Approach to Terror Management Theory

ISBN 9781138843141
Published March 7, 2016 by Routledge
236 Pages

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Book Description

This volume is the first to showcase the interdisciplinary nature of Terror Management Theory, providing a detailed overview of how rich and diverse the field has become since the late 1980s, and where it is going in the future. It offers perspectives from psychology, political science, communication, health, sociology, business, marketing and cultural studies, among others, and in the process reveals how our existential ponderings permeate our behavior in almost every area of our lives. It will interest a wide range of upper-level students and researchers who want an overview of past and current TMT research and how it may be applied to their own research interests.

Table of Contents

Terror Management Theory: Exploring the Role of Death in Life, A. Darrell & T. Pyszczynski. Communicating About Death: A Look Inside Terror Management Theory and the Field of Communication, G.S. Nisbett & L.A. Harvell. Terror Management and Politics: Comparing and Integrating the ‘Conservative Shift’ and ‘Political Worldview Defense’ Hypotheses, S. Kosloff, M. Landau, & B. Burke. Bridging Health and Death: Insights and Questions From a Terror Management Health Model, M. Spina, J. Arndt, P. Boyd, & J. Goldenberg. Terror Management, Crime, and Law, M. Heen, J.D. Lieberman, & J. Arndt. Marketing, Money, and Mortality, T.F. Stillman & L.A. Harvell. The Existential Function of Parasocial Relationship Interaction, S.M. Semmler. An Experimental Examination of Mortality-Salience Manipulation Type and Length of Delay on Presidential Support and Civic Engagement, J. Green & P. Merle. Time Waits for No One: Mortality Salience and Temporal Agency, M.S. McGlone & N.A. Merola. "Death is Coming, but I’m Too Scared To Think About It": Defining and Distinguishing The Roles of Death and Fear as Motivators to Cognitive, Affective, and Behavioral Change, A.L. Lancaster, N.D. Bowman, & L.A. Harvell. Gender and Terror Management Theory, S.A. Passalacqua. Using Persuasion to Save Lives: A Counterattack Plan for Suicide, Substance Abuse, and Psychological Distress Prevention, M.J. Sherratt, G.C. Corser, & H. Monson. Running in While Running Out: First Responders Communication During Traumatic Events, D. Rodriguez, T.A. Avtgis, & C.J. Liberman. TMT in LAS: Lessons from A Terror Management Field Experiment at Las Vegas McCarran International Airport, L.A. Harvell, T.F. Stillman, G.S. Nisbett, K. Cranney, & A. Schow. Cultural Universals and Differences in Dealing with Death, Y.C. Park & T. Pyszczynski.

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Lindsey A. Harvell received her Ph.D. from the University of Oklahoma in Social Influence and Political Communication in 2012. She is an assistant professor in the School of Communication Studies and an affiliate faculty member in the Department of Psychology at James Madison University. Dr. Harvell’s research focuses on the extension of terror management theory (TMT) and using existential awareness in persuasive message design. Her research also focuses on political advertising messages and studying the effects of existential awareness on these messages.

Gwendelyn S. Nisbett received her Ph.D. from the University of Oklahoma in Social Influence and Political Communication in 2011. She is an assistant professor of strategic communication in the Mayborn School of Journalism at the University of North Texas. Dr. Nisbett’s research examines the intersection of mediated social influence, political communication, and popular culture. Her research incorporates a multimethods approach to understanding the influence of fandom and celebrity in political and civic engagement.


Denying Death: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Terror Management Theory is an important addition to the burgeoning theoretical and empirical literature derived from terror management theory. This volume contains cutting-edge work by talented scholars and researchers from a wide range of academic disciplines, demonstrating how terror management theory can be productively employed to delineate a host of social and psychological phenomena, as well as how amenable it is to both quantitative and qualitative research. A must-read for undergraduates, graduate students, and faculty interested in the existential underpinnings of human behavior.

Sheldon Solomon, Professor of Psychology, Skidmore College

Terror management theory has generated over 500 studies across many fields. Although no book could cover it all, this timely volume provides excellent coverage of terror management research on topics such as communication, criminal justice, gender, health, marketing, and politics.

Jeff Greenberg, Professor of Psychology, University of Arizona