Mortality Salience Effects of Critical Incidents – A Systematic Literature Review and Research Agenda

Leung, Hoi-Ting, Chew, Peter K.H., and Caltabiano, Nerina J. (2023) Mortality Salience Effects of Critical Incidents – A Systematic Literature Review and Research Agenda. Omega: Journal of Death and Dying. (In Press)

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Critical incidents (CI) trigger acute stress reactions and psychological trauma because of direct or vicarious exposure. These events include natural disasters, wars, terrorist attacks and pandemics, and usually result in deaths and serious physical injuries. Their life-threatening nature makes them reasonable candidates to induce mortality salience (MS). The current review aims to consolidate Terror Management Theory (TMT) research using CIs as MS. A systematic literature review was conducted. Overall, 74 articles with 113 studies were included. Through this review, strong support for MS effects of CI has been found. Consistent with TMT, CIs tend to trigger worldview defence, self-esteem enhancement and relationship seeking. CIs have also been found to impact negatively on individual well-being and organisational health. Recommendations specific to crisis interventions and well-being will be discussed. The review concludes with potential future research directions to strengthen and expand empirical knowledge in CI salience.

Item ID: 73702
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1541-3764
Keywords: critical incidents, crisis interventions, mortality salience, terror management theory, research agenda, systematic literature review
Copyright Information: © The Author(s) 2022
Date Deposited: 13 Jun 2022 02:01
FoR Codes: 52 PSYCHOLOGY > 5201 Applied and developmental psychology > 520199 Applied and developmental psychology not elsewhere classified @ 40%
52 PSYCHOLOGY > 5205 Social and personality psychology > 520505 Social psychology @ 60%
SEO Codes: 28 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 2801 Expanding knowledge > 280121 Expanding knowledge in psychology @ 100%
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