The thrust of the problem: bodily inhibitions and guilt as a function of mortality salience and neuroticism

Goldenberg, Jamie L. and Heflick, Nathan A. and Cooper, Douglas P. (2008) The thrust of the problem: bodily inhibitions and guilt as a function of mortality salience and neuroticism. Journal of Personality, 76 (5). pp. 1055-1080. ISSN 0022-3506

Full content URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1467-...

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The thrust of the problem: bodily inhibitions and guilt as a function of mortality salience and neuroticism

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Abstract

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
in neuroticism were primed with thoughts about their mortality or a
control topic and then engaged in an exercise designed to promote body
awareness before self-reporting guilt. A comparison group engaged in
non-body-oriented behavior. The results revealed that high neuroticism
participants inhibited their body-oriented behavior when mortality was
salient and that they experienced a marginal increase in guilt after performing
the behavior in conjunction with mortality salience. Discussion
focuses on the relationship between neuroticism, mortality salience, inhibition
surrounding the body, and guilt.

Keywords:neuroticism, mortality salience, guilt, body inhibition, exercise
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C880 Social Psychology
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Psychology
ID Code:18889
Deposited On:30 Sep 2015 15:06

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