Terror Management Theory

Terror Management Theory

… was developed to explain the motivational underpinnings of phenomena such as self-esteem defense and prejudice.

The theory posits that to manage the potential for terror engendered by the awareness of mortality, humans sustain faith in worldviews which provide a sense that they are significant beings in an enduring, meaningful world rather than mere material animals fated only to obliteration upon death.

in: Chapter 19: Terror Management Theory
Jeff Greenberg and Jamie Arndt
Handbook of Theories of Social Psychology: Volume One
edited by Paul A M Van Lange, Arie W Kruglanski, E Tory Higgins
SAGE Publications.