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ERIC Number: EJ896344
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Sep
Pages: 41
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 152
ISSN: ISSN-0033-2909
A Theoretical and Empirical Review of the Death-Thought Accessibility Concept in Terror Management Research
Hayes, Joseph; Schimel, Jeff; Arndt, Jamie; Faucher, Erik H.
Psychological Bulletin, v136 n5 p699-739 Sep 2010
Terror management theory (TMT) highlights the motivational impact of thoughts of death in various aspects of everyday life. Since its inception in 1986, research on TMT has undergone a slight but significant shift from an almost exclusive focus on the manipulation of thoughts of death to a marked increase in studies that measure the accessibility of death-related cognition. Indeed, the number of death-thought accessibility (DTA) studies in the published literature has grown substantially in recent years. In light of this increasing reliance on the DTA concept, the present article is meant to provide a comprehensive theoretical and empirical review of the literature employing this concept. After discussing the roots of DTA, the authors outline the theoretical refinements to TMT that have accompanied significant research findings associated with the DTA concept. Four distinct categories (mortality salience, death association, anxiety-buffer threat, and dispositional) are derived to organize the reviewed DTA studies, and the theoretical implications of each category are discussed. Finally, a number of lingering empirical and theoretical issues in the DTA literature are discussed with the aim of stimulating and focusing future research on DTA specifically and TMT in general. (Contains 2 figures and 6 footnotes.)
American Psychological Association. Journals Department, 750 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242. Tel: 800-374-2721; Tel: 202-336-5510; Fax: 202-336-5502; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A