Smoking Can't Hurt Me! and Other Death-Related Thoughts: a Test of Terror Management and Risk Perceptions

Researchers are plagued with creating communications that can increase compliance with risk avoidance behaviors. A field experiment was designed to investigate the impact of mortality salience and self-esteem (TMT) on smokers’ willingness to comply with anti-smoking messages using health and social themes. “Social mortality”, emphasizing the loss of a relationship when one dies (as opposed to the health effects of smoking), was more effective at getting a wide range of smokers to indicate an intention to quit smoking. Our results show that mortality salience interacts with self-esteem to influence smoking tendencies. The public policy and theoretical implications of these findings are discussed.


Ingrid M. Martin and Michael Kamins (2007) ,"Smoking Can't Hurt Me! and Other Death-Related Thoughts: a Test of Terror Management and Risk Perceptions", in E - European Advances in Consumer Research Volume 8, eds. Stefania Borghini, Mary Ann McGrath, and Cele Otnes, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 72-72.


Ingrid M. Martin, California State University-Long Beach, USA
Michael Kamins, University of Southern California, USA


E - European Advances in Consumer Research Volume 8 | 2007

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