Social curiosity as a way to overcome death anxiety: perspective of terror management theory

Rani Agias Fitri, Sali Rahadi Asih, Bagus Takwin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Social curiosity has been found to have great benefits in human life, especially in fostering interpersonal relationships. Nevertheless there is indication of other benefit of social curiosity that have not yet been explored, namely overcoming the anxiety of death. This indication is based on previous research which found a positive relationship between anxiety and social curiosity. In this study, social curiosity is framed as representation of symbolic immortality, which people use to overcome the terror of death. To support this conjecture, two studies were conducted using the Terror Management Theory (TMT) framework. Study 1 (N = 352, M age = 19.39) found a positive relationship between death anxiety and social curiosity. In Study 2 (N = 507, M age = 20.68) it was found that intolerance of uncertainty and desire for self-verification mediated the relationship between death anxiety and social curiosity. The results of this study indicate that increasing interest in obtaining information about how other people think, feel, or act is a form of mechanism used by people to control anxiety related to death.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere03556
JournalHeliyon
Volume6
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2020

Keywords

  • Death anxiety
  • Desire for self-verification
  • Intolerance of uncertainty
  • Philosophy
  • Psychology
  • Social curiosity
  • Terror management theory

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