Death, quest, and self-esteem: re-examining the role of self-esteem and religion following mortality salience

Robert B. Arrowood, Tommy Coleman III, Sally B. Swanson, Ralph W. Hood, Cathy R. Cox

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Terror management theory suggests that when mortality concerns are salient, religion can serve as a defence in order to boost self-esteem and shield against the potential for anxiety. The current study examined whether individual differences in religious orientation (i.e., quest) interacted with reminders of death to influence well-being. To the extent that religiosity buffers against mortality awareness on defensiveness, the present results demonstrated that individuals high in quest orientation, in comparison to low-quest-orientated individuals, reported lower well-being (i.e., self-esteem) following reminders of death. These results add to the existing body of literature suggesting that thoughts of death can serve to decrease well-being, but that this effect is influenced by individual differences, namely trait quest religiosity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)69-76
Number of pages8
JournalReligion, Brain & Behavior
Volume8
Issue number1
Early online date15 Mar 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018

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Religion
Self Concept
Individuality
Mortality
Buffers
Anxiety

Keywords

  • individual differences
  • mortality
  • quest
  • self-esteem
  • Terror management theory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology

Cite this

Death, quest, and self-esteem : re-examining the role of self-esteem and religion following mortality salience. / Arrowood, Robert B.; Coleman III, Tommy; Swanson, Sally B.; Hood, Ralph W.; Cox, Cathy R.

In: Religion, Brain & Behavior, Vol. 8, No. 1, 2018, p. 69-76.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Arrowood, Robert B. ; Coleman III, Tommy ; Swanson, Sally B. ; Hood, Ralph W. ; Cox, Cathy R. / Death, quest, and self-esteem : re-examining the role of self-esteem and religion following mortality salience. In: Religion, Brain & Behavior. 2018 ; Vol. 8, No. 1. pp. 69-76.
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