Armyanskii ln., 4-2, Moscow, 101000, Russia


Timofei Nestik1, Evgeni Nikolaev2
  • 1 Institute of Psychology, Russian Academy of Sciences, 13 build. 1, Yaroslavskaya Str., Moscow, 129366, Russian Federation
  • 2 Chuvash State University

Relationship between attitudes to global risks, fears of personal death, and proactive coping: an empirical study

2020. Vol. 17. No. 4. P. 812–821 [issue contents]
The article examines the fears of personal death and attitudes to global risks. It presents the results of the study conducted on the sample of Russian students (N = 521), and explores the relationship between fears of death, attitudes to global risks and proactive coping strategies. In accordance with the terror management theory (Solomon et al., 2001), it is shown that attitudes toward death make the greatest contribution to the orientation towards a return to traditional religious values and citizens’ responsibility to prevent a global catastrophe. The adaptive attitudes toward death (neutral acceptance of death, fear of the loss of self-fulfillment and fear of the consequences for family) reinforce the belief in the need for cooperation to anticipate and prevent global risks, as well as the willingness to participate in disaster prevention. The maladaptive and defensive attitudes toward death (escape acceptance of death, death avoidance, fear of the loss of social identity, fear of self-annihilation) reinforce apocalypticism and fatalistic ignoring of global risks. The attitudes to global risks associated with resilience and proactive coping are highlighted: optimism about the global future, orientation towards cooperation to predict and prevent global threats, belief in the need to return to traditional religious values, as well as willingness to participate in the prevention of global risks and to protect oneself and the loved ones from them. Supporting radical solutions to prevent catastrophes, apocalypticism and fatalistic disregard for the threat are destructive from the point of view of the individual resilience. The data obtained indicate that the reminder of death in the news about global risks can shift public opinion towards conservative attitudes, reduce the readiness to search for solutions to prevent global catastrophes.

Citation: Nestik T., Nikolaev E. (2020) Svyaz' otnosheniya lichnosti k global'nym riskam so strakhom smerti i proaktivnym kopingom: empiricheskoe issledovanie [Relationship between attitudes to global risks, fears of personal death, and proactive coping: an empirical study]. Psychology. Journal of Higher School of Economics, vol. 17, no 4, pp. 812-821 (in Russian)
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