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A Critical Review of Terror Management Theory - Report Example

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This report "A Critical Review of Terror Management Theory" explores the merits and demerits of the Terror Management Theory proposed by Sheldon Solomon, Jeff Greenberg, and Tom Pyszczynski. It also explains the role of the Terror Management Theory in explaining Extremism and Intolerance…
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A Critical Review of Terror Management Theory
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Download file to see previous pages In the recent past the terror management theory has evoked increasing interest, as it offers a possible means of understanding intolerance and extremism, which the world has been witnessing through several incidents of terrorism that has caused untold misery, including the September 11, 2001 incident. The growing specter of terrorism has only added to the urgency to understand human nature and through this understanding probably find possible means to address extremism and intolerance.
Sheldon Solomon, Jeff Greenberg, and Tom Pyszczynski have been credited with putting forth the terror management theory in1986. However, the terror management theory finds its roots in the ideas of the late cultural anthropologist Ernest Becket found in his books The Birth and Death of Meaning (1971), and the Denial of Death (1973). Solomon, Greenberg, and Pyszczynski had just completed their doctoral studies in experimental social psychology in the early 1980s and found themselves frustrated at the fragmented state of the field of social physiology. It was at that time that they came across the works of Ernest Becker and found his ideas interesting and in particular were attracted to his perceptions of the motives behind social behavior and what these motives do and the functions that they serve. Solomon, Greenberg, and Pyszczynski combined the ideas of Ernest Becker along with new ideas that were being generated from the experimental activity in the fields of social, cognitive, clinical, and developmental psychology and also the fresh ideas generated for the emerging area of evolutionary psychology. This effort was to culminate in the creation of a new theory, which the three of them called the terror management theory, publishing the initial work in 1986 and following it up with further works in 1991 and 2003.
The terror management theory begins by assuming that there is similarity in human beings and animals. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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