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Toward a Dual-Motive Depth Psychology of Self and Social Behavior

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Part of the The Springer Series in Social Clinical Psychology book series (SSSC)

Abstract

Motivational constructs involving the defense and enrichment of the self have been employed either separately or in combination in a wide variety of analyses of human behavior throughout the history of psychology. Whereas the defensive orientation has traditionally been the domain of psychoanalytical theorists, the growth orientation has been espoused most prominently by proponents of humanistic psychology. Interestingly, there currently seems to be a resurgence in analyses relying on these two distinct types of motives in contemporary academic psychology. Although our own terror management theory and research focuses exclusively on defensive motivation, we recognize that defensive concerns are not the only forces impinging on human behavior. The primary purpose of this chapter is therefore to expand our conceptualization to consider the role of growth and enrichment motives in human behavior and to explore the interplay of such motives with the defensive terror management motives that have been the focus of our previous work. Consideration of these motive systems in tandem will ultimately produce a richer, more balanced, and more complete understanding of human behavior than could be provided by exclusive reliance on terror management theory in its original form. In the following pages, we present a theoretical and empirical overview of terror management theory, a conceptualization of the nature and functioning of a separate growth-oriented enrichment motive system, and a consideration of the interplay between the two systems.

Keywords

  • Motive System
  • Experimental Social Psychology
  • Social Psychology Bulletin
  • Mortality Salience
  • Enrichment Motive

These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Greenberg, J., Pyszczynski, T., Solomon, S. (1995). Toward a Dual-Motive Depth Psychology of Self and Social Behavior. In: Kernis, M.H. (eds) Efficacy, Agency, and Self-Esteem. The Springer Series in Social Clinical Psychology. Springer, Boston, MA. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4899-1280-0_5

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4899-1280-0_5

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