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Death Contemplation, Growth, and Defense: Converging Evidence of Dual-Existential Systems?

Cozzolino, PJ (2006) 'Death Contemplation, Growth, and Defense: Converging Evidence of Dual-Existential Systems?' Psychological Inquiry, 17 (4). 278 - 287. ISSN 1047-840X

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Abstract

The psychology underlying individuals' attempts to pursue a path of growth as a result of death contemplation is the focus of this article. More directly, I attempt to reconcile diverging paths in the study of death awareness and its impact on human experience; specifically, I present empirical and theoretical support for dual-existential systems that are capable of explaining mortality-induced defensiveness predicted by terror management theory (TMT), and mortality-induced growth observed among individuals who contemplate their mortality as a result of illness or trauma. I suggest that individuals process their existence either via a specific and personalized existential system, or via an abstract and categorical existential system. I also suggest that these dual-existential systems begin with differential information-processing styles and end with growth-oriented or defense-oriented motivational states and self-regulatory processes. The psychological and the societal outcomes of processing existential matters via these dual-systems are also discussed. © 2007 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health > Psychology, Department of
Depositing User: Users 161 not found.
Date Deposited: 29 Jan 2015 12:46
Last Modified: 05 Feb 2019 11:15
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/12454

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