Handbook of Terror Management Theory provides an overview of Terror Management Theory (TMT), including critical research derived from the theory, recent research that has expanded and refined the theory, and the many ways the theory has been utilized to understand domains of human social life. The book uses TMT as a lens to help understand human relationships to nature, cultural worldviews, the self, time, the body, attachment, group identification, religion and faith, creativity, personal growth, and the brain.
The first section reviews theoretical and methodological issues, the second focuses on basic research showing how TMT enhances our understanding of a wide range of phenomena, and the third section, Applications, uses TMT to solve a variety of real world problems across different disciplines and contexts, including health behavior, aging, psychopathology, terrorism, consumerism, the legal system, art and media, risk-taking, and communication theory.
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Section 1: Testing the Contours of the Theory 1. A Consideration of 3 Critical Hypotheses 2. Distinguishing Proximal and Distal Responses to Death-Thoughts 3. Controversies and Alternative Theories 4. TMT Toolbox: A Guide to Doing TMT Research
Section 2: How TMT Helps us Understand 5. The Need to Structure the World 6. Our Relationship with Nature 7. The Self 8. The Self in Time: Nostalgia 9. Human Concerns about Sex, the Body, and Animality 10. Attachment and Romantic Relationships 11. Group Identification 12. Religion 13. Secular Cultural Worldviews 14. Affect, Meaning, and Well-Being 15. Psychological Growth, Creativity, and Exploration 16. Existential Neuroscience: Terror Management and the Brain
Section 3: Applications 17. Health Attitudes and Behavior 18. Aging and Coping with Mortality 19. Psychopathology 20. Terrorism, War, and Peace-Making 21. Consumerism 22. The Legal System 23. Art and Media 24. Death and Risk Taking 25. Communication Theory and Terror Management
Dr. Clay Routledge is a behavioral scientist, writer, consultant, and professor of psychology at North Dakota State University. Much of his work focuses on the human need to find and maintain meaning in life . More specifically, using a range of empirical methods, his research examines the underlying cognitive processes involved in meaning-making, the different ways people seek meaning, and how the presence or absence of meaning influences physical and psychological health, self-control, goal pursuit, and social and community engagement. Dr. Routledge has published over 100 academic papers and co-edited three books. He authored the books Nostalgia: A Psychological Resource and Supernatural: Death, Meaning, and the Power of the Invisible World. His research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, John Templeton Foundation, Society for the Scientific Study of Religion, and Charles Koch Foundation. Dr. Routledge regularly writes for media outlets such as Scientific American, National Review, The Wall Street Journal, and The New York Times. He is also a nonresident scholar for the Baylor Institute for the Studies of Religion and a senior fellow at the Institute for Family Studies. Dr. Routledge frequently serves as a business consultant, public speaker, and guest on popular podcasts and radio and television programs. His work is also regularly featured in diverse media outlets such as The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, Men's Health, Variety, Forbes, Vox, Huffington Post, The Guardian, BBC News, CBS News, CBC News, and CNN. You can find out more about Dr. Routledge's work at clayroutledge.com
Matthew Vess Montana State University.
Dr. Matthew Vess is a social psychologist and assistant professor of Psychological Science at Montana State University. His research broadly focuses on the basic processes underlying the pursuit for self-relevant meaning and value. He has published over 25 papers in some of the very best journals in social psychology (e.g., Journal of Personality and Social Psychology), many of which are directly relevant to and/or inspired by TMT. Dr. Vess has also taught graduate level courses on existential experimental psychology and includes a dedication section to TMT in his undergraduate social psychology courses.