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Handbook of Experimental Existential Psychology - Jeff Greenberg

Handbook of Experimental Existential Psychology

By: Jeff Greenberg (Editor), Sander Leon Koole (Editor), Tom Pyszczynski (Editor)

Hardcover Published: 1st May 2004
ISBN: 9781593850401
Number Of Pages: 528

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Social and personality psychologists traditionally have focused their attention on the most basic building blocks of human thought and behavior, while existential psychologists pursued broader, more abstract questions regarding the nature of existence and the meaning of life. This volume bridges this longstanding divide by demonstrating how rigorous experimental methods can be applied to understanding key existential concerns, including death, uncertainty, identity, meaning, morality, isolation, determinism, and freedom. Bringing together leading scholars and investigators, the Handbook presents the influential theories and research findings that collectively are helping to define the emerging field of experimental existential psychology.

"Handbooks are often about the past. They integrate what's known. The Handbook of Experimental Existential Psychology is about the future. It creates a new field that speaks to the fundamental question of how human beings confront the reality of their lives. It is original in placing 'experimental' next to 'existential.' Heidegger and Sartre will smile."--Mahzarin R. Banaji, PhD, Department of Psychology, Harvard University

"Like many other academics, I was drawn to psychology because I wanted to know more about the fundamental properties of existence--love, death, religion, pain, sex, morality, and the meaning of life. And, like others, I was soon lost in the details of far more circumscribed questions. This handbook reminds me why I love psychology. The authors dare to tackle some of the most basic questions about human existence, using sophisticated scientific methods and theories. The writing is crisp and the topics are bold and exciting. This is the finest edited book that I have seen in many, many years."--James W. Pennebaker, PhD, Department of Psychology, University of Texas at Austin

"How do ordinary people struggle with profound existential issues such as the certainty of death and the problem of finding meaning in life? Although extraordinarily important, psychologists historically have viewed such questions as too abstract or too difficult to address with the scientific method. In contrast, this volume shows that the marriage of experimental and existential psychology is not only possible, but immensely fruitful. The contributing authors--experts in social and personality psychology--address such core existential issues as people's attempts to manage terror about death, find meaning in life, search for love, and struggle for freedom, all in a scientifically rigorous and theoretically rich way. This handbook is a 'must read' for graduate students in psychology; scholars in sociology, anthropology, and other disciplines; and others concerned with issues of mortality and meaning. Kudos to Greenberg et al. for having the insight and courage to unite existential and experimental psychology."--Lyn Y. Abramson, PhD, Department of Psychology, University of Wisconsin-Madison

"Meaning, free will, and ultimate questions about life and death: such themes lie at the heart of what it means to be human. But is it possible to tap existential struggles without sacrificing methodological rigor? The answer provided by this book is a resounding 'Yes!'. Existential questions, many of which have creatively but quietly shaped the field of social psychology, come into bold relief in this theoretically rich and empirically solid volume. Anyone who fears that social psychology has lost 'the big picture' will find in this book a breath of fresh air and hope."--Julie Juola Exline, PhD, Department of Psychology, Case Western Reserve University

"This remarkably wide-ranging and informative collection of essays offers the best refutation yet of the common charge that, the more precise a psychology's research methods, the more trivial its findings are likely to be. Drawing on fundamental themes from clinic-derived existential psychology--authenticity, choice, awareness, meaning, anxiety, temporality, and death, among others--but largely setting aside its abstruse philosophical underpinnings, the authors demonstrate that rigorous empirical methods can take us far in illuminating the complex contours of the human condition. This book gathers together a scattered but surprisingly voluminous and coherent literature, providing a vade mecum for an emerging subject area that we can only hope will gain increasing attention among researchers in psychology and related fields. Psychologists of religion in particular will find it a gold mine, for in it are numerous links to work already underway and a multitude of leads for new research directions."--David M. Wulff, PhD, Department of Psychology, Wheaton College, Massachusetts

Introduction
Experimental Existential Psychology: Exploring the Human Confrontation with Realityp. 3
Existential Realities
The Cultural Animal: Twenty Years of Terror Management Theory and Researchp. 13
The Blueprint of Terror Management: Understanding the Cognitive Architecture of Psychological Defense against the Awareness of Deathp. 35
A Multifaceted Perspective on the Existential Meanings, Manifestations, and Consequences of the Fear of Personal Deathp. 54
The Beast within the Beauty: An Existential Perspective on the Objectification and Condemnation of Womenp. 71
Paradise Lost and Reclaimed: A Motivational Analysis of Human-Nature Relationsp. 86
Risk Taking in Adolescence: "To Be or Not to Be" Is Not Really the Questionp. 104
Random Outcomes and Valued Commitments: Existential Dilemmas and the Paradox of Meaningp. 122
Systems of Meaning and Value
Religion: Its Core Psychological Functionsp. 141
In Search of the Moral Person: Do You Have to Feel Really Bad to Be Good?p. 156
An Existentialist Approach to the Social Psychology of Fairness: The Influence of Mortality and Uncertainty Salience on Reactions to Fair and Unfair Eventsp. 167
Zeal, Identity, and Meaning: Going to Extremes to Be One Selfp. 182
Nostalgia: Conceptual Issues and Existential Functionsp. 200
Existential Meanings and Cultural Models: The Interplay of Personal and Supernatural Agency in American and Hindu Ways of Responding to Uncertaintyp. 215
Cultural Trauma and Recovery: Cultural Meaning, Self-Esteem, and the Reconstruction of the Cultural Anxiety Bufferp. 231
Terror's Epistemic Consequences: Existential Threat and the Quest for Certainty and Closurep. 247
The Ideological Animal: A System Justification Viewp. 263
The Human Connection
The Terror of Death and the Quest for Love: An Existential Perspective on Close Relationshipsp. 287
Transcending Oneself through Social Identificationp. 305
Moral Amplification and the Emotions That Attach Us to Saints and Demonsp. 322
Ostracism: A Metaphor for Deathp. 336
I-Sharing, the Problem of Existential Isolation, and Their Implications for Interpersonal and Intergroup Phenomenap. 352
Bellezza in Interpersonal Relationsp. 369
Freedom and the Will
Being Here Now: Is Consciousness Necessary for Human Freedom?p. 385
Ego Depletion, Self-Control, and Choicep. 398
Workings of the Will: A Functional Approachp. 411
The Roar of Awakening: Mortality Acknowledgment as a Call to Authentic Livingp. 431
Autonomy Is No Illusion: Self-Determination Theory and the Empirical Study of Authenticity, Awareness, and Willp. 449
Nonbecoming, Alienated Becoming, and Authentic Becoming: A Goal-Based Approachp. 480
Postmortem
The Best of Two Worlds: Experimental Existential Psychology Now and in the Futurep. 497
Author Indexp. 505
Subject Indexp. 517
Table of Contents provided by Rittenhouse. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9781593850401
ISBN-10: 1593850409
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 528
Published: 1st May 2004
Publisher: Guilford Publications
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 25.4 x 17.8  x 3.53
Weight (kg): 1.23