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The Psychological Functions of Cultural Legacy: A Terror Management Investigation of Creative Achievement and Symbols of Motherhood

Perach, Rotem (2019) The Psychological Functions of Cultural Legacy: A Terror Management Investigation of Creative Achievement and Symbols of Motherhood. Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) thesis, University of Kent,. (Access to this publication is currently restricted. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided) (KAR id:73078)

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Language: English

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Abstract

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.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Philosophy (PhD))
Thesis advisor: Wisman, Arnaud
Thesis advisor: Giner-Sorolla, Roger
Uncontrolled keywords: terror managment theory, creativity, creative achievement, cultural symbols, motherhood
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Psychology
SWORD Depositor: System Moodle
Depositing User: System Moodle
Date Deposited: 19 Mar 2019 15:10 UTC
Last Modified: 06 May 2020 03:19 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/73078 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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