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Psychology of Death and Dying (PSYC 3570-DE) Chapter Summaries

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University of Guelph
PSYC 3570
Erin Allard

PsychologyofDeathandDyingChapterSummariesChapter1AsWeThinkAboutDeathAHistoryofDeathPhilippe Aries 1981 energized the study of death and dyingTried to construct a historyDrew information from brutal practices Outlined four psychological themesoAwareness of the individualoThe defense of society against untamed natureoThe belief in an afterlifeoThe belief in the existence of evilRitualization was a way of protectionHarm came from dead who might come back for vengeanceospeak not ill of themInto the Christian era death of oneself became a concernoPeople became more aware of themselvesoQuality of life was improving and more was at stakeoAve Maria was the prayer for good deathTwisted deathDeath associated with violence and sexualityDeath of the otheroImportance high in familyoMore personaloDeath became previsioned to be guilt free and an adventureoHell was dismissedoDeath meant a reunion with loved onesThe invisible deathoDoes not revoke death of other but takes us to another place in the mindoDeath became dirty and medicalized Why Success became everythingoDeath the absolute failureoPeople entered denialNotThinkingaboutDeathAFailedExperimentWe try not thinking about deathPeople avoid saying diedWe dont talk about the death of everyday peopleListeningandCommunicationPatients now feel more empowered to express concernsFatalism outcomes determined in advanceSilencer person who is quick to introduce fatalism in a way to end the conversation on death The belief that there is no use in thinking about death and taking life protective measures that increase the probability of an avoidable deathSomeAnswersandtheQuestionstheyraiseAttitudesExperiencesBeliefsFeelingsAttitudes Our action tendenciesBeliefs Our worldview ex FatalismFeelings Provide us with qualitative information a status report on our sense of beingPersonal experience influences attitudes beliefs and feelingsThere is a profound experimental difference between people who have had a personally significant death and those for whom death has remained a distant topic or even just a wordIf we have experienced a personal death we know what people are going throughJust cause you experience a lose doesnt enhance the ability to help someone elseHowdoesStateofMindaffectDeathRelatedBehaviourThe living will why the living wontoPeople dont think about their own deaths and think they are far offoNow policy makes health care providers sign a living will but only because they have toShould I sign an organ donation cardoFew people sign the cardoAttitudes play a big roleoNondonors tend to be more anxious about death and to have specific fear about being declared dead prematurelyoPeople who think of themselves as effective and selfreliant are more likely to sign the donation cardsIn God they trustoIn study people with positive religious coping styles experienced less pain and distress and were able to draw on social support from people who had the same beliefsoDoubt and conflict in religious belief seems to have a negative effect on health outcomesManisMoralButwhatdoesthathavetodowithmeAnxietyDenialandAcceptanceThreeCoreConceptsDeath anxiety term most applied to such responses distress unwell apprehensiveness etcAnxiety seeks its own reliefDenial response that rejects certain key features of reality in the attempt to avoid or reduce anxietyResearchers say we should accept death but how to is unclearA strategy is to identify with death ex Through killing othersStudiesandTheoriesofDeathAnxietyMajorFindingsfromSelfReportsofDeathAnxietyHowmuchdoweFearDeathLow to moderate levels of death anxietyMost people are not anxiousArethereGenderDifferencesinDeathAnxietyWomen have higher scores on selfreport This could be because women are more comfortable than men in dealing openly with their thoughts and feelings on many emotionally intense subjects not only on those that are death relatedWomen outnumber men in death seminarsNurses have higher death anxiety then the population but also more likely to accept it as part of lifeArethereAgeDifferencesinDeathAnxietyElders have lower death anxietyCome to terms with deathSome people experience so much hardship that they are ready for their life to come to an endDeath anxiety high in adolescence and early adulthoodPeaks around age 20 and women experience a second peak in their fifties possibly due to the end of their reproductive careers and therefore a depressing reminder that theyve grown olderHerecomestheBoomersIsDeathAnxietyRelatedtoMentalHealthandIllnessHigh death anxiety may warrant the attention of professional caregiversDeath anxiety high in people with psychiatric conditionsMore likely when a person feels alone and unprotectedDoesReligiousBelieflowerorraiseDeathAnxietyReligion lowers fear of deathOpposite findings have been foundDepends on societies level of development
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