Title

Ambivalence Toward the Body: Death, Neuroticism, and the Flight From Physical Sensation

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2006

Keywords

mortality salience, neuroticism, physical sensation, inhibition

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

https://doi.org/10.1177/0146167206289505

Abstract

Based on terror management theory, the authors suggest that ambivalent reactions to the human body are partially rooted in the association of the physical body with inescapable death and that individuals high in neuroticism are particularly vulnerable to such difficulties. Three experiments demonstrated that priming thoughts about one’s death leads individuals high in neuroticism to flee from physical sensations, including pleasurable ones. In response to mortality salience, highly neurotic individuals spent less time submerging their arm in ice-cold water and using an electric foot massager but did not avoid stimulation in nontactile modalities (i.e., listening to music). The discussion highlights the role of existentially motivated self-repression in inhibitions surrounding the body.

Was this content written or created while at USF?

Yes

Citation / Publisher Attribution

Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, v. 32, issue 9, p. 1264- 1277

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