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The University of Southampton

Self-Related Consequences of Mortality Awareness

Philip J. Cozzolino

University of Essex

Examined whether reflecting on mortality in a specific and individuated manner facilitates outcomes indicative of identity integration. Participants in a specific and individuated mortality condition – death reflection – were more accepting of regrettable life experiences, recognized the importance of balancing individualistic and collectivist values, and were equally motivated to pursue growth-orientated and security-orientated needs compared to participants in two control conditions. Additionally, a correlational study demonstrated a link between death acceptance and a bolstered sense of self. The findings have implications for understanding the psychological benefits of existential contemplation.

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