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Awareness About Own Mortality May Be Injurious to Health: University of Kent

by Bidita Debnath on  August 27, 2015 at 6:00 PM Research News   - G J E 4
New research from University of Kent reveals that people with low self-esteem use a variety of escape mechanisms to avoid thinking about their own mortality.
 Awareness About Own Mortality May Be Injurious to Health: University of Kent
Awareness About Own Mortality May Be Injurious to Health: University of Kent
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In addition to drinking more alcohol in response to a mortality reminder, people with low self-esteem may be more likely to engage in health risk behaviors such as drug use, binge eating and smoking.

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In five separate studies, the team from University of Kent found evidence that people with low self-esteem respond to reminders of their own mortality by directing their focus away from the "self".

"This escape from self-awareness took the form of avoiding writing about the self, heightened alcohol consumption and less activation of self-related thoughts," said lead researcher Dr Arnaud Wisman from the university's school of psychology.

The research found a link between people with low self-esteem having unconscious concerns about their own mortality and then employing a variety of ways to escape from self-awareness.

"This would enable them to, at least in the short term, avoid negative self-awareness," the authors noted.

The findings will have implications for future public health policy decision-making, they concluded in a paper published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology.

Source: IANS
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