Document Detail

I am not an animal: mortality salience, disgust, and the denial of human creatureliness.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  11561918     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
The present research investigated the need to distinguish humans from animals and tested the hypothesis derived from terror management theory that this need stems in part from existential mortality concerns. Specifically, the authors suggest that being an animal is threatening because it reminds people of their vulnerability to death; therefore, reminding people of their mortality was hypothesized to increase the need to distance from animals. In support, Study 1 revealed that reminders of death led to an increased emotional reaction of disgust to body products and animals. Study 2 showed that compared to a control condition, mortality salience led to greater preference for an essay describing people as distinct from animals; and within the mortality salient condition but not the control condition, the essay emphasizing differences from other animals was preferred to the essay emphasizing similarities. The implications of these results for understanding why humans are so invested in beautifying their bodies and denying creaturely aspects of themselves are discussed.
J L Goldenberg; T Pyszczynski; J Greenberg; S Solomon; B Kluck; R Cornwell
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of experimental psychology. General     Volume:  130     ISSN:  0096-3445     ISO Abbreviation:  J Exp Psychol Gen     Publication Date:  2001 Sep 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2001-09-19     Completed Date:  2002-02-04     Revised Date:  2006-11-15    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  7502587     Medline TA:  J Exp Psychol Gen     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  427-35     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Psychology, University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Attitude to Death*
Defense Mechanisms
Denial (Psychology)*
Self Concept*
Social Values*
Species Specificity

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