Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy
Timothy L. Hulsey
Leticia Y. Flores, Garriy Shteynberg, Sheldon Solomon
In his seminal work The Denial of Death, Ernest Becker suggested that the primary motivation behind human behavior is a fear of dying. This claim has been operationalized into an empirically based theory entitled Terror Management Theory (TMT). TMT outlines how self-esteem and cultural worldviews play an important role in how humans manage death anxiety. One especially important cultural worldview is religion. TMT research suggests that religious beliefs help provide protection again death anxiety. Religious orientation research outlines three orientations to religion: extrinsic, intrinsic, and quest. In the present study, I investigate whether a quest-like state of mind may help buffer the effects of death anxiety.
Smith, Connor Logan, "Questing and Defense Against Death Anxiety. " PhD diss., University of Tennessee, 2022.