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Mortality Salience and Smokers' Reactions to Anti-smoking Messages

Monin, Matthew M (2009) Mortality Salience and Smokers' Reactions to Anti-smoking Messages. Master's Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Terror management theory (TMT) states that self-esteem acts as a buffer to prevent humans from experiencing anxiety about their own mortality. TMT research on health behaviors has demonstrated that people are more likely to engage in risky health behaviors that are consistent with their self-image when under the influence of mortality salience (MS). The present study looks to reverse that tendency by coupling MS with messages that present self-image related risky health behaviors as socially threatening. When smokers were presented with socially threatening anti-smoking messages, participants who received an MS induction were more likely to report higher quitting intentions compared to controls. No such difference was found for participants who were presented with anti-smoking messages that threatened health. Implications for how TMT could be utilized to create more persuasive health messages is discussed.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Monin, Matthew
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairKlein, Williamwmklein@pitt.eduWMKLEIN
Committee MemberLevine, Johnjml@pitt.eduJML
Committee MemberGreenberg, Martingreenber@pitt.eduGREENBER
Date: 30 September 2009
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 16 August 2007
Approval Date: 30 September 2009
Submission Date: 8 August 2009
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Psychology
Degree: MS - Master of Science
Thesis Type: Master's Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: cancer; health decisions; risk perceptions; smoker self-concept; smoking cessation
Other ID:, etd-08082009-194345
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 19:58
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 13:48


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