An Integrative Terror Management Theory Perspective on Media Effects: A Model and 12 Hypotheses for Research

Richard M. Perloff


This paper is designed to stimulate theory-driven research on the implications of Terror Management Theory (TMT) for a host of intriguing media phenomena. The paper synthesizes previous research, presents a model of TMT influences, and suggests 12 hypotheses for study in diverse areas, notably, media entertainment, news, advertising, fear appeals, and social media. A terror management perspective, with its emphasis on the novel, counterintuitive ways individuals keep death at bay, can extend knowledge in different areas of the field, illuminate understanding of media influences, and generate a host of studies that chart new pathways for comprehension of contemporary communication.

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Studies in Media and Communication      ISSN 2325-8071 (Print)   ISSN 2325-808X (Online)

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