In what may seem an obvious finding to many, how one thinks about death can affect behavior in life, a new study finds.
"Death is a very powerful motivation," said Laura E.R. Blackie, a Ph.D. student at the University of Essex in Britain. "People seem aware that their life is limited. That can be one of the best gifts that we have in life, motivating us to embrace life and embrace goals that are important to us."
Blackie and her advisor, Philip J. Cozzolino, recruited 90 people in a British town center and asked separated them into three groups. One group was asked to respond to general questions about death – such as their thoughts and feelings about death and what they think happens to them if they die. The other was asked to imagine dying in an apartment fire and then asked four questions about how they thought they would deal with the experience and how they thought their family would react. A control group thought about dental pain.
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