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Title: The psychological functions of cultural legacy : a terror management investigation of creative achievement and symbols of motherhood
Author: Perach, Rotem
ISNI:       0000 0004 7659 8344
Awarding Body: University of Kent
Current Institution: University of Kent
Date of Award: 2019
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This thesis examined if, and by which avenues, can cultural legacy can help to manage existential concerns. The existential anxiety buffering functions of creative achievement and of symbols of motherhood were examined utilizing a Terror Management Theory (TMT) paradigm. The relationship between death awareness and creativity was supported by the findings of a TMT literature review and of a mini meta-analysis. In a study of the existential anxiety buffering functions of creative achievement, it was found that when death awareness was high, high levels of creative achievement were associated with reduced thoughts of death in comparison to a control condition. This was the case only among persons with high levels of creative goals. Also, the existential anxiety buffering functions of symbols of motherhood (and boundary conditions of the symbolic properties of realistic representations of motherhood) were examined in three studies. It was found that exposure to symbols of motherhood can serve anxiety buffering functions when death is salient, but only when they do not exhibit the physicality of the female body in relationship to motherhood. Specifically, after death reminders, exposure to symbols of motherhood that do not expose the physicality of the female body increased implicit self-esteem levels. In contrast, exposure to women's portrayals that highlight the physicality of the female body after death reminders led to increased feelings of disgust. Overall, current evidence supports the notion that cultural legacy pursuit is one psychological motivation that affects people's attitudes and behaviours, particularly when mortality awareness is high. These findings have implications for creativity promotion and the use of symbols of motherhood to improve women's physical and psychological wellbeing. Future directions for research on motherhood, terror management motivations, and their impact on everyday life are presented.
Supervisor: Wisman, Arnaud ; Giner-Sorolla, Roger Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: BF Psychology