During the Covid-19 pandemic, people all over the world have been exposed to news and continuous warnings which made more salient the idea of human mortality. Terror Management Theory (TMT) states that human behavior is affected by the fear of mortality: human action is often taken to ignore or avoid the inevitability of death. The idea of absolute annihilation creates a state of deep anxiety in people, representing a strong challenge to their self-esteem. To deal with this anxiety, each social group build its symbols: culture, norms, religious and belief systems which protect the significance of life, rewarding those members of society who behave according to its cultural worldview. TMT posits that when people are reminded of their own deaths, they more readily enforce these symbols: to preserve and enhance their self-esteem, individuals react to mortality salience trying to show how well they live up to their culture’s expectations. In this article the Covid-19 pandemic is interpreted as a natural experiment of mortality salience, and some peculiar behavior observed during the lockdown are compared with the main predictions of TMT.

Un esperimento naturale: Covid e salienza di mortalità

raimondello orsini
Writing – Original Draft Preparation
2023

Abstract

During the Covid-19 pandemic, people all over the world have been exposed to news and continuous warnings which made more salient the idea of human mortality. Terror Management Theory (TMT) states that human behavior is affected by the fear of mortality: human action is often taken to ignore or avoid the inevitability of death. The idea of absolute annihilation creates a state of deep anxiety in people, representing a strong challenge to their self-esteem. To deal with this anxiety, each social group build its symbols: culture, norms, religious and belief systems which protect the significance of life, rewarding those members of society who behave according to its cultural worldview. TMT posits that when people are reminded of their own deaths, they more readily enforce these symbols: to preserve and enhance their self-esteem, individuals react to mortality salience trying to show how well they live up to their culture’s expectations. In this article the Covid-19 pandemic is interpreted as a natural experiment of mortality salience, and some peculiar behavior observed during the lockdown are compared with the main predictions of TMT.
2023
raimondello orsini
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/947818
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