PSYC 215 Lecture Notes - Lecture 23: Hot Sauce, Terror Management Theory

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PSYC215–Lecture#23:ExistentialApproach

Whyarewesoinfluencedbyourculture?
Ex.Considerevaluationofothersandofself,andselfregulation,accordingtosocialstandards
andnorms
Powerfulandsometimesdestructiveinfluences
Whydowehavesuchahighlyelaboratedsymbolicworld?
oJustneedforstructure?Needtobelong?
oEx.Whydoweputinsomuchefforttodressacertainway?Wehavetofirstknow
howtofunctionandthenfindtheneedtobelongandbeconnectedwithour
peers
Existentialapproachinsocialpsychology
oWeashumanshavecertainconcernsaboutourexistencethatinfluencesus
o100sofyearsago,therebecamealossoffaithinreligions
§peoplemovedtosciencefortheanswersbutthenpeoplestarted
underminingthataswell

1.Humanbeinghascertaincognitiveabilities:
Selfawareness–createelaboratethoughtsaboutourselves
Imagination–imagineunlimitedpossibilities

2.Theseraisesomebasicconcernsoranxieties
Absurdity
oEx.Senseyougetwhenthinkingabouthowhugeandfarthestarsinthenightare
andhowtinytheEarthis,andhowweareonlyatinyspecintheuniverse
oEx.Tryingtomakedecisionsinaworldwedon’tfullyunderstandcausingthe
decisiontothenseemarbitrary
oEx.Wakingupandlookinginthemirrorandfeelinglikewearenotlookingat
ourselves;canmakeusfeelanxiousorconfused
oTheideaisthesethoughtscometomindatcertainwhenwehavetomakeabig
decisionoroneafternoonwejuststarttofeelstrange–isnotonourminds24/7
butwehavetheabilitytothinkaboutthem
Death
oSinceweareselfawareandcanthinksymbolically,wecanimaginewherewe’ll
be20yearsfromnoworoccursatsomepointthatwewilldieoneday
oSomeorganismsfeelfearwhentheyarethreatened
§Ex.Lionattackingagazelle
oHumanshoweverarecapableofknowing(aware)whenwewilldie
oEx.Whenafriendisinthehospitalontheirdeathbed
oEx.Turbulencewhileflying

3.Wetrytocopeinvariousways
Relativelydirectly(ex.Afterlife,beliefs,drugsetc)
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