Date of Award

6-2015

Document Type

Open Access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Joshua Hart

Language

English

Keywords

death, anxiety, dating, website

Abstract

Previous research has indicated that death-related anxieties are the ultimate threat to the human psyche. In an effort to manage these concerns, individuals tend to turn to their romantic relationships. The present research sought to determine how mortality salience (i.e., death awareness) influences the effectiveness of an advertisement and the desirability of dating websites. A fake dating website was created with four different slogans. The first included an overt death-reminder, the second included a subtle death-reminder, the third included a loneliness reminder, and the fourth condition did not include any psychological threats. Participants were randomly assigned to visit a website containing one of the four slogans and were then asked to evaluate the website’s appeal. Results showed that participants in the subtle death-reminder condition found the website more appealing and had a greater desire for membership than those in the overt death-reminder and loneliness reminder conditions. This current study indicates that mortality salience, if applied discretely, may be an effective advertising tool for businesses purveying dating services.

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