Loss Anxiety: An Alternative Explanation for the Fundamental Fears in Human Beings

Koca-Atabey M., ÖNER ÖZKAN B.

DEATH STUDIES, vol.38, no.10, pp.662-671, 2014 (SSCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 38 Issue: 10
  • Publication Date: 2014
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/07481187.2013.844748
  • Journal Name: DEATH STUDIES
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.662-671
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: Yes


In this article, fear of loss as well as fear of death are introduced to explain cultural worldview defence reactions of individuals. Participants were subjected to mortality salience, disability salience and control conditions. Mortality salience and paralysis salience were found to lead to a change in conservatism scores. In a qualitative follow-up study, when reminded about mortality, the participants reported less individual sadness than expected; whereas when the participants were reminded about paralysis, greater individual sadness was reported. Any kind of loss manipulation that is moderately fearful, highly imaginable, and highly self-relevant is suggested to affect cultural worldview defence reactions.