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Advances in Psychological Science    2017, Vol. 25 Issue (1) : 76-85     DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2017.00076
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The role of emotion in terror management theory
LU Kexin1; SHEN Kehan2; LI Hong1
(1 Department of Psychology, Tsinghua University of China, Beijing 100084, China) (2 Counseling and Psychological Services, East China Normal University, Shanghai 200062, China)
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Abstract  

Terror management theory (TMT) highlights the impact of death thought on the cognition and behavior of individuals. However, the role of emotion in TMT is controversial. The previous affect-free claim which suggests that mortality salience provokes defense without triggering any real emotion experience has been challenged. Recent studies show that anxiety, fear and disgust can be potential reactions aroused by mortality salience. The timing and paradigm of emotion measurement, as well as the selection of the control group are crucial in emotion detection. This study proposes that emotion plays a vital role in mortality salience effect and should be included in the cognition model of TMT. Further improvement on the cognition model and directions for further research are also discussed.

Keywords terror management theory      emotion      mortality salience      affect-free claim     
Corresponding Authors: LI Hong, E-mail: lhong@mail.tsinghua.edu.cn   
Issue Date: 15 January 2017
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LU Kexin
SHEN Kehan
LI Hong
Cite this article:   
LU Kexin,SHEN Kehan,LI Hong. The role of emotion in terror management theory[J]. Advances in Psychological Science, 2017, 25(1): 76-85.
URL:  
http://journal.psych.ac.cn/xlkxjz/EN/10.3724/SP.J.1042.2017.00076     OR     http://journal.psych.ac.cn/xlkxjz/EN/Y2017/V25/I1/76
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