Jamie L Goldenberg

Jamie L Goldenberg
University of South Florida | USF · Department of Psychology

PhD

About

90
Publications
93,403
Reads
How we measure 'reads'
A 'read' is counted each time someone views a publication summary (such as the title, abstract, and list of authors), clicks on a figure, or views or downloads the full-text. Learn more
5,362
Citations

Publications

Publications (90)
Article
Full-text available
Integrating theorizing from the terror management health model with research on the objectification of women's bodies, we present a novel framework for understanding reactions to breasts in the context of breast cancer: adaptive self-objectification. We suggest that, despite evidence that objectifying the body has harmful consequences for women, vi...
Article
Full-text available
Self‐objectification, the internalization of an observer’s appearance‐based perspective of one’s body, has been theorized and demonstrated to reduce body awareness among women. In this field study, we propose self‐objectification as the mechanism to explain the oft‐observed phenomenon where women wearing little clothing appear unbothered by cold we...
Article
Full-text available
Behaviours recommended for reducing transmission of COVID-19 – social distancing, wearing masks, and now, vaccination – are aimed at not only reducing one’s own risk, but risk to others. We posited that a collectivist mindset, versus individualistic, would facilitate intentions to engage in behaviours aimed at curtailing the spread of the virus whe...
Article
The terror management health model (TMHM) integrates social psychology research on how individuals respond to reminders of their mortality and applies it to decision making in health contexts, where death thoughts are likely to be activated. Specifically, the TMHM predicts when individuals will engage in behaviors that benefit or harm their health...
Article
Full-text available
The novel coronavirus, COVID-19, proliferates as a contagious psychological threat just like the physical disease itself. Due to the growing death toll and constant coverage this pandemic gets, it is likely to activate mortality awareness, to greater or lesser extents, depending on a variety of situational factors. Using terror management theory an...
Article
Full-text available
Over (2020; this issue) puts forth seven challenges for what she terms the dehumanization hypothesis (i.e., that out-group members are viewed as nonhuman and that this underlies the harm inflicted on them). For the most part we do not disagree with her points, but we disagree that those points constitute a challenge. Previous research, by us and by...
Article
Full-text available
Objective We examine if individuals low in openness cope with death reminders (i.e., mortality salience) by becoming less open and more avoidant of death. Method In Study 1, openness was measured before and after a mortality salience manipulation (N = 128; Mage = 35.82; 54.7% male; 85.2% Caucasian). In Study 2, we measured openness, manipulated mo...
Article
Full-text available
The terror management health model suggests targeting sources of self-esteem or identity, in conjunction with mortality salience, offers a pathway for health behavior promotion. To date, however, experimental evidence has been limited to single time point studies. Two studies assessed whether similar processes impact behavior over time. In Study 1,...
Article
Full-text available
Women are objectified through overt sexualization and through a focus on physical appearance, but empirical research has not yet made this distinction. In three studies, we found evidence consistent with the hypothesis that although both forms of objectification strip women of their humanness, there are unique dehumanizing signatures associated wit...
Article
Research on terror management theory demonstrates that people respond to reminders of mortality with defenses aimed at maintaining their self-esteem and defending cultural worldviews. We posited that being open to experience should allow individuals to process death more receptively (i.e., with curiosity), attenuating the need to bolster self-estee...
Article
This article offers an integrative understanding of the intersection between health and death from the perspective of the terror management health model. After highlighting the potential for health-related situations to elicit concerns about mortality, we turn to the question, how do thoughts of death influence health-related decision making? Acros...
Chapter
Feminist scholars, philosophers, and more recently, social psychological researchers have argued and provided evidence that women are objectified, often in a very literal manner. Terror management theory offers additional insight, suggesting there is an existential threat associated with men’s attraction to women’s natural bodies. When a woman’s bo...
Article
Integrating terror management theory and objective self-awareness theory, we propose the existential escape hypothesis, which states that people with low self-esteem should be especially prone to escaping self-awareness as a distal response to thoughts of death. This is because they lack the means to bolster the self as a defense, and the propensit...
Article
Full-text available
Objective: To use insights from an integration of the terror management health model and the prototype willingness model to inform and improve nutrition-related behavior using an ecologically valid outcome. Method: Prior to shopping, grocery shoppers were exposed to a reminder of mortality (or pain) and then visualized a healthy (vs. neutral) pr...
Article
Full-text available
Research and theorizing suggest that objectification entails perceiving a person not as a human being but, quite literally, as an object. However, the motive to regard the self as an object is not well understood. The current research tested the hypothesis that literal self-objectification can serve a terror management function. From this perspecti...
Article
Scholars have long argued that women are denied a basic sense of humanness-are objectified-when focus is directed toward their physical rather than mental qualities. Early research on objectification focused on women's self-objectification and measured objectification indirectly (as an emphasis on physical appearance). Recent research, however, has...
Article
Full-text available
Abstract The terror management health model (TMHM) suggests that when thoughts of death are accessible people become increasingly motivated to bolster their self-esteem relative to their health, because doing so offers psychological protection against mortality concerns. Two studies examined sun protection intentions as a function of mortality remi...
Article
From the perspective of terror management theory, men’s attraction to women poses a threat in the context of salient mortality concerns. We hypothesized that literal objectification—associating women with (non-mortal) objects—reduces this threat. Reactions to advertisements featuring sexually provocative women merged with objects (e.g., a woman mer...
Article
Belief in life after death offers potential comfort in the face of inevitable death. However, afterlife belief likely requires not only an awareness of death, but also body-self dualism—the perception that the self (e.g., the mind) is distinct from the physical, undeniably mortal, body. In turn, we hypothesized that mortality salience (MS) should h...
Article
Belief in life after death offers potential comfort in the face of inevitable death. However, afterlife belief likely requires not only an awareness of death, but also body-self dualism—the perception that the self (e.g., the mind) is distinct from the physical, undeniably mortal, body. In turn, we hypothesized that mortality salience (MS) should h...
Article
Full-text available
Interfacing the terror management health model with the meaning transfer model, we offer novel hypotheses concerning the effectiveness of celebrity and medical endorsements for consumer products and health behavior decisions. Studies 1 and 2 revealed that, compared with control topic primes, death thoughts in focal attention increased the effective...
Article
Objectives: According to the terror management health model, conscious thoughts of death motivate productive health behaviours when the targeted behaviour is perceived as an effective route for mitigating the threat and removing death-related thought from focal awareness. The present study thus examined whether messages manipulating the efficacy o...
Article
Full-text available
Objective: Although fatal consequences of smoking are often highlighted in health communications, the question of how awareness of death affects actual smoking behavior has yet to be addressed. Two experiments informed by the terror management health model were conducted to examine this issue. Previous research suggests that the effects of mortali...
Chapter
Full-text available
Monstrously Mortal: Women’s Bodies, Existential Threat, and Women’s Health Risks From an existential perspective, and terror management theory in particular, fear of death, and the need to manage that fear, is a central force guiding much of human behavior. We use this as a starting place for our chapter, and explain how this perspective can inform...
Chapter
At the outset of Darren Aronofsky’s Black Swan (2010), Natalie Portman’s character, Nina Sayers, auditions for the part of the Swan Queen in the ballet Swan Lake. The dancer who plays the lead must dance not only the part of the white swan, but her evil twin, the black swan. “If I was only casting the White Swan, she’d be yours,” Thomas Leroy, the...
Chapter
Full-text available
This chapter uses the terror management health model to consider how individuals' multilayered systems of meaning can affect health behaviors and decision making. Building on terror management theory, the present analysis suggests terror management efforts rely on the maintenance of a microsystem of meaning (organizing one's world into a coherent,...
Article
Explores the effects of the human awareness of mortality on physical and mental health. This exploration culminates in an analysis of both the adaptive and the ironic maladaptive consequences of the psychological defenses people use to manage the terror of death. To lay the groundwork for this analysis, the authors begin with an overview of terror...
Article
Full-text available
Terror management theory (TMT) posits that humans distance themselves from, or elevate themselves above, other animals as a way of denying their mortality. The present studies assessed whether the salience of aggressive tendencies that humans share with other animals make thoughts of death salient and whether depicting human aggression as animalist...
Article
Prior research suggests that fear of cancer recurrence (FOR) is very common among cancer survivors. This study examined the extent to which the interaction of threat appraisal and coping appraisal accounted for differences in FOR in cancer patients who recently completed treatment. It was hypothesized that greater FOR would be related to a combinat...
Article
Full-text available
Messages highlighting the risk of unhealthy behaviors threaten the self and can prompt a defensive response. From the perspective of self-affirmation theory, affirming an important value in a domain unrelated to the threat can reduce this defensiveness. Integrating terror management and objectification theory, this study examined objectification as...
Article
• The author presents a terror management analysis of people’s attitudes toward their animal nature, as reflected in their bodies and physical sensations. Goldenberg’s central thesis is that human beings are caught in a perpetual struggle between (a) the need to deny their mortality and (b) reminders that they are flesh-and-blood creatures with ani...
Article
According to life history theory, environmental cues indicating that one's future survivability is low increase reproductive effort. This suggests that exposure to low survivability cues will increase people's preparedness to engage in sex. However, according to sexual selection theory and parental investment theory, evolutionary pressures favored...
Article
Terror management theory (TMT) posits that people cope with mortality concerns via symbolic immortality (e.g., secular cultural beliefs that outlast death) and/or literal immortality (afterlife belief). However, what happens when these two forms of immortality conflict, as in atheism? Would atheists' mortality concerns be better assuaged by affirmi...
Article
In 2008, Republican John McCain and his running mate, Sarah Palin, lost the U.S. presidential election to Barack Obama and his vice presidential candidate, Joe Biden. During the campaign, Palin’s physical appearance, including her reported $150,000 makeover, received extensive media coverage. But, could the focus on her appearance have impacted the...
Article
In our original article, Sarah Palin, A Nation Object(ifie)s: The Role of Appearance Focus in the 2008 U.S. Presidential Election, we suggested that a focus on Sarah Palin’s appearance may have harmed the Republican ticket in the 2008 presidential election by leading others to objectify her(creating perception of her as less competent, warm, trustw...
Article
According to the terror management health model, when thoughts of death are non-consciously activated, health decisions should be influenced by identity-relevant motivations. Therefore, in this context, framing a health behavior as a tool to empower the self should increase intentions to engage in the behavior and enhanced feelings of empowerment a...
Article
Most literally, objectification refers to perceiving a person as an object, and consequently, less than fully human. Research on perceptions of humanness and the stereotype content model suggests that humanness is linked to perceptions of warmth, morality and competence. Merging these insights with objectification theory, we hypothesized that focus...
Article
From the perspective of terror management theory, awareness of death induces a need for validation of important values. Thus, for women who place a high value on their appearance (e.g., high self-objectifiers), mortality salience should increase positive reactions to objectifying experiences relative to women who do not highly value appearance. Two...
Article
Full-text available
In the short story The Birthmark (1843/1946), Nathaniel Hawthorne’s character Georgiana has a crimson birthmark on her left cheek that resembles a “bloody hand.” This one “visible mark of earthly imperfection” provides the impetus for anxiety that haunts Georgiana’s husband and Georgiana herself. Indeed, it ultimately drives him, encouraged by Geo...
Article
From the perspective of the terror management health model (TMHM), expectancies as to whether a health behavior is likely to effectively protect one's health (i.e., response efficacy) and whether an individual is optimistic about the outcomes of his or her health risk assessment (i.e., health optimism) should have a more potent influence on health...
Article
Full-text available
Prior research has shown the importance of humanness in shaping one's social identity, but no research has examined why this is the case. The present article reveals that humanizing the ingroup serves a terror management function. In 3 studies, Italian (Studies 1 and 2) and American (Study 3) participants humanized their own group more when their m...
Article
Full-text available
Using the terror management health model (J. L. Goldenberg & J. Arndt, 2008), the authors examined tanning outcomes as a function of priming tanning-relevant standards for attractiveness after reminders of death. Study 1 consisted of 101 female college students recruited from a midwestern university; Study 2 consisted of 53 female participants recr...
Article
Full-text available
Decisions to rely on religious faith over medical treatment for health conditions represent an important but understudied phenomenon. In an effort to understand some of the psychological underpinnings of such decisions, the present research builds from terror management theory to examine whether reminders of death motivate individuals strongly inve...
Article
Full-text available
In 4 studies, the role of extrinsic esteem contingencies in adjusting to shifting health-relevant standards when managing existential fears was examined. Study 1 demonstrated that after reminders of death, higher dispositional focus on extrinsic self-esteem contingencies predicted greater interest in tanning. Using a more domain-specific approach,...
Article
The current research employs ideas from terror management theory to investigate why mammograms may be psychologically problematic. This perspective suggests that individuals, particularly those high in neuroticism, are threatened by that which reminds them of their physical and mortal nature. In Study 1, a laboratory experiment demonstrated that wh...
Article
Although a great deal of research has examined the effects of objectification on women's self-perceptions and behavior, empirical research has yet to address how objectifying a woman affects the way she is perceived by others. We hypothesize that focusing on a woman's appearance will promote reduced perceptions of competence, and also, by virtue of...
Article
Full-text available
This article offers terror management theory (TMT) as a conceptual lens through which the process of infrahumanization can be viewed. TMT suggests that people are threatened by the awareness of their mortal, animal nature, and that by emphasizing their symbolic, cultural—and hence, uniquely human—existence, they can help quell this threat. The arti...
Article
This article introduces a terror management health model (TMHM). The model integrates disparate health and social psychology literatures to elucidate how the conscious and nonconscious awareness of death can influence the motivational orientation that is most operative in the context of health decisions. Three formal propositions are presented. Pro...
Article
Full-text available
Prejudice by medical providers has been found to contribute to differential cardiac risk estimates. As such, empirical examinations of psychological factors associated with such biases are warranted. Considerable psychological research implicates concerns with personal mortality in motivating prejudicial biases. The authors sought to examine whethe...
Article
We argue that existential concerns underlie discomfort with the physicality of the body and that activities likely to make individuals aware of their physical body (e.g., sex, dancing) may be inhibited and cause guilt. Further, individuals high in neuroticism may be especially vulnerable to such difficulties. To test this, individuals high and low...
Article
The present research applies an analysis derived from terror management theory to the health domain of breast examination, and in doing so uncovers previously unrecognized factors that may contribute to women's reluctance to perform breast self-examinations (BSEs). In Study 1, when concerns about mortality were primed, reminders of human beings' ph...
Article
Although pregnancy clearly evokes many positive reactions, women's pregnant bodies sometimes inspire negative responses. However, little if any empirical attention has been devoted to understanding the psychological reasons for such ambivalence. In this article we tried to fill this gap by using a conceptual analysis grounded in terror management t...
Article
Full-text available
From an existential terror management theory perspective, disgusting stimuli are threatening to human beings because they make salient people's vulnerability to death. Two studies were designed to assess this proposition by measuring implicit death-related ideation after individuals were presented with stimuli that either were or were not disgustin...
Article
Full-text available
Five studies examined the cognitive association between thoughts of cancer and thoughts of death and their implication for screening intentions. Study 1 found that explicit contemplation of cancer did not increase death-thought accessibility. In support of the hypothesis that this reflects suppression of death-related thoughts, Study 2 found that i...
Article
Full-text available
Drawing from an existential perspective rooted in terror management theory, four studies examined the hypothesis that breast-feeding women serve as reminders of the physical, animal nature of humanity and that such recognition is threatening in the face of one's unalterable mortality. Study 1 demonstrated that mortality salience (MS) led to more ne...
Article
In addition to enjoying pleasurable bodily activities, people appear threatened by the physical aspects of the body; they experience anxiety and inhibitions surrounding sex, eating, bodily appearance and functions. Based on terror management theory, we posit that people are dually motivated to approach the life-affirming properties of the physical...
Article
Research derived from terror management theory (TMT) suggests that conscious contemplations of mortality instigate efforts to remove such threatening cognitions from focal attention. Though efforts to manage death concerns in focal attention can positively affect one's health (e.g., engaging in health conscious behavior), such efforts can also nega...
Article
Full-text available
Based on terror management theory, the authors suggest that ambivalent reactions to the human body are partially rooted in the association of the physical body with inescapable death and that individuals high in neuroticism are particularly vulnerable to such difficulties. Three experiments demonstrated that priming thoughts about one's death leads...
Article
Although terror management theory has stimulated a wide body of research, no research to date has demonstrated empirically that intentions to engage in health-oriented behavior can function as a terror management defense. Toward this end, the present studies examined whether increased fitness intentions could be used as both a direct defense agains...
Article
Full-text available
Why do sexually appealing women often attract derogation and aggression? According to terror management theory, women's sexual allure threatens to increase men's awareness of their corporeality and thus mortality. Accordingly, in Study 1 a subliminal mortality prime decreased men's but not women's attractiveness ratings of alluring women. In Study...
Article
Full-text available
Following terror management theory, the authors suggest women's striving to attain a thin physique is fueled in part by existential concerns. In three studies, women restricted consumption of a nutritious but fattening food in response to reminders of mortality (mortality salience; MS). When conducted in private (Study 1), this effect was found amo...
Article
A growing body of research derived from terror management theory [e.g., Solomon, S., Greenberg, J., & Pyszczynski, T. (1991). A terror management theory of social behavior: The psychological functions of self-esteem and cultural worldviews. In M. P. Zanna (Ed.), Advances in experimental social psychology: vol. 24 (pp. 93–159). New York: Academic Pr...
Article
According to terror management theory, cultural beliefs and standards provide protection from fears associated with mortality by convincing individuals that their existence matters more than that of any mere mortal animal. The body threatens the efficacy of such mechanisms by reminding us that we are animals nonetheless, and therefore fated to deat...
Article
Full-text available
On the basis of terror management theory, the authors hypothesized that reminders of mortality (mortality salience) should promote the desire for offspring to the extent that it does not conflict with other self-relevant worldviews that also serve to manage existential concerns. In 3 studies, men, but not women, desired more children after mortalit...
Article
This research was designed to explore the extent to which the physical body is integrated into individuals' conceptualizations of self. We hypothesized that body-self integration would vary as a function of level of general self-esteem, specific self-evaluations for the body, and also mortality salience due to existential implications of the physic...
Article
On the basis of prior work integrating attachment theory and terror management theory, the authors propose a model of a tripartite security system consisting of dynamically interrelated attachment, self-esteem, and worldview processes. Four studies are presented that, combined with existing evidence, support the prediction derived from the model th...
Article
In the present article, we present a theoretical perspective on ageism that is derived from terror management theory. According to the theory, human beings manage deeply-rooted fears about their vulnerability to death through symbolic constructions of meaning and corresponding standards of value. We extend this perspective to suggest that elderly i...
Article
According to the dual defense model of terror management, proximal defenses are engaged to reduce the conscious impact of mortality salience, whereas thoughts of death outside of conscious awareness motivate distal defenses aimed at maintaining self-esteem. Two experiments examined these ideas by assessing women's intentions to engage in tanning-re...
Article
Full-text available
Drawing on lay epistemology theory, the authors assessed a terror management analysis of the psychological function of structuring social information. Seven studies tested variations of the hypothesis that simple, benign interpretations of social information function, in part, to manage death-related anxiety. In Studies 1-4, mortality salience (MS)...
Article
This article reports an experimental study designed to test the hypothesis that self-awareness plays a causal role in the experience of shame but not guilt. The effects of a self-focus manipulation on shame and guilt proneness were assessed by having male and female participants complete an internal vs. external focus of attention writing task and...
Article
The authors propose that gender-differentiated patterns of jealousy in response to sexual and emotional infidelity are engendered by the differential impact of each event on self-esteem for men and women. Study 1 demonstrated that men derive relatively more self-esteem from their sex lives, whereas women's self-esteem is more contingent on romantic...
Article
We offer a theoretical perspective to provide insight into why people are ambivalent about sex and why cultures regulate sex and attach symbolic meaning to it. Building on terror management theory, we propose that sex is problematic for humankind in part because it reminds us of our creaturely mortal nature. Two experiments investigated the effects...
Article
Full-text available
An experiment tested the hypothesis that reminders of a woman's menstrual status lead to more negative reactions to her and increased objectification of women in general. Participants interacted with a female confederate who ostensibly accidentally dropped either a tampon or hair clip out of her handbag. Dropping the tampon led to lower evaluations...
Article
Full-text available
Two studies examined the effects of mortality salience inductions on men and women's willingness to engage in risk-taking behaviors. In Study 1, a sample of American college students (N= 101) were exposed to either a mortality salient or a control condition and then rated their willingness to engage in a variety of risk-taking activities. In Study...
Article
Full-text available
The present research investigated the need to distinguish humans from animals and tested the hypothesis derived from terror management theory that this need stems in part from existential mortality concerns. Specifically, the authors suggest that being an animal is threatening because it reminds people of their vulnerability to death; therefore, re...