Perception of death influences one’s actionMay 20th, 2011 - 5:38 pm ICT by IANS
London, May 20 (IANS) People who specifically think about their own death are more likely to demonstrate concern for society by donating blood, a study says.
Laura E.R. Blackie, doctoral student at the University of Essex, and her advisor Philip J. Cozzolino recruited 90 people in a UK town centre for the study.
Some were 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, reports the journal Psychological Science.
Others were 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.
Next, the participants were given an article, supposedly from the BBC, about blood donations, according to an Essex statement.
Some people read an article saying that blood donations were “at record highs” and the need was low; others read another article reporting the opposite - that donations were “at record lows” and the need was high.
They were then offered a pamphlet guaranteeing fast registration at a blood centre that day and told they should only take a pamphlet if they intended to donate.
People who thought about death in the abstract were motivated by the story about the blood shortage. They were more likely to take a pamphlet if they read that article.
But people who thought about their own death were likely to take a pamphlet regardless of which article they read; their willingness to donate blood did not seem to depend on how badly it was needed.
“Death is a very powerful motivation,” Blackie says. “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.”
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Tags: apartment fire, bbc, best gifts, blood donations, blood shortage, control group, cozzolino, dental pain, doctoral student, donating blood, motivation, pamphlet, participants, perception, psychological science, record highs, record lows, thoughts and feelings, university of essex, willingness