the implications of death for health

I’m in grant-writing hell, and have been more or less since I was in talk-writing hell, and that started after the election. I should be out of grant-writing hell soon, but meanwhile, I commend you all to the following article in the prestigious journal, PSYCHOLOGICAL REVIEW:

The implications of death for health: A terror management health model for behavioral health promotion

Based on the abstract, the take-home message is that people faced with death tend to do healthy things as a form of psychological self-defense, and also do things that promote a feeling of meaning and self-esteem. They also make one claim so heavily obfuscated that I can’t decipher it: “… confrontations with the physical body may undermine symbolic defenses and thus present a previously unrecognized barrier to health promotion activities.” (The meaning might become clear if I read the article, but see previous note on grant-writing hell.)

Scientists sometimes make fun of humanists for tackling nickel topics with twenty-five-cent words, but we’re hardly innocent of this ourselves…


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