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Appears in Collections:Management, Work and Organisation Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: The impact of death awareness on sizes of self-representational objects
Author(s): McCabe, Simon
Arndt, Jamie
Vail, Kenneth E
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Keywords: mortality salience
terror management theory
Issue Date: Jan-2018
Citation: McCabe S, Arndt J & Vail KE (2018) The impact of death awareness on sizes of self-representational objects. British Journal of Social Psychology, 57 (1), pp. 174-188.
Abstract: People seem to have a tendency to increase the relative size of self-representational objects. Prior research suggests that motivational factors may fuel that tendency, so the present research built from terror management theory to examine whether existential motivations—engendered by concerns about death—may have similar implications for self-relevant size biases. Specifically, across two studies (total N = 288) we hypothesized that reminders of death would lead participants to inflate the size of self-representational objects. Both studies suggested that relative to reminders of pain, mortality salience led participants to construct larger clay sculptures of themselves (vs. others; Study 1) and a larger ostensible video-game avatar for the self (vs. others; Study 2).
DOI Link: 10.1111/bjso.12227
Rights: This item has been embargoed for a period. During the embargo please use the Request a Copy feature at the foot of the Repository record to request a copy directly from the author. You can only request a copy if you wish to use this work for your own research or private study. This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: McCabe, S., Vail, K. E. and Arndt, J. (2018), The impact of death awareness on sizes of self-representational objects. British Journal of Social Psychology, 57: 174–188, which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance With Wiley Terms and Conditions for self-archiving.

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