Title

Mammograms and the Management of Existential Discomfort: Threats Associated with the Physicality of the Body and Neuroticism

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2009

Keywords

mammograms, mortality salience, creatureliness, neuroticism

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

https://doi.org/10.1080/08870440701864546

Abstract

The current research employs ideas from terror management theory to investigate why mammograms may be psychologically problematic. This perspective suggests that individuals, particularly those high in neuroticism, are threatened by that which reminds them of their physical and mortal nature. In Study 1, a laboratory experiment demonstrated that when concerns about mortality were primed, reminders of one's physical nature (i.e. creatureliness) led women who were high in neuroticism to report reduced willingness to imagine undergoing a mammogram. In Study 2, a field experiment among women receiving a mammogram showed that priming creatureliness increased perceptions of discomfort with the procedure for women high in neuroticism. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.

Was this content written or created while at USF?

Yes

Citation / Publisher Attribution

Psychology and Health, v. 24, issue 5, p. 563- 581

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