Let's Get Physical: Immortality and Collectivism


  • Grace Colletti
  • Savanna Shady


Terror management theory (TMT), Literal immortality, Physical immortality, Collectivism, Death Reminders, Immortality


Terror Management Theory (TMT) aims to give an explanation regarding how humans defend against thoughts of our own death. Many studies have shown that strong cultural worldviews are important in keeping thoughts of death out of mind. One of these cultural worldviews is collectivism and, when a person is prompted with thoughts of their own death, thinking about the deaths of others may occur. In this current study, participants (N=120) randomly assigned to receive a death reminder or control prompt were then asked to answer questions about an immortality potion. We wanted to see if being reminded of death would cause them to select group immortality options over the self-immortality option because reminders of death increase feelings of community and closeness with others. Results showed that non-religious, Caucasian women in the control group were significantly more likely to choose to take the potion as well as share it with others.






Social Sciences