Introduction: Terror Management Theory (TMT) is a psychological theory that describes how individuals cope with their awareness of death. This theory explains the psychological response of people towards the experience of terrorism. The TMT provides insight into the ways people cope with their mortality and how this awareness impacts their behavior. In this paper, we will examine the practicality of the TMT regarding a recent terror event.
Overview of the TMT: The TMT is a theoretical framework that focuses on how individuals cope with the awareness of their mortality. According to TMT, human beings are aware of their death, and this awareness creates anxiety and stress. The theory suggests that individuals use different coping mechanisms to deal with this anxiety, including cultural, social, and personal factors.
Selected Terror Event: The terror event chosen for this paper is the Christchurch mosque shooting that occurred in New Zealand on March 15, 2019. The shooting was carried out by a white supremacist who targeted two mosques and killed 51 people.
Applying the TMT: The TMT can be applied to the Christchurch mosque shooting to understand the coping and recovery of the survivors. The theory suggests that individuals use cultural and social factors to cope with anxiety and stress associated with mortality. In the case of the shooting, survivors can use their cultural and religious beliefs to cope with the trauma of the event.
Factors of Influence: The cognitive, social, cultural, and intellectual conditions of the survivors are factors of influence that can skew perceptions of death and survival. The cognitive factors include beliefs and attitudes towards death and mortality. The social factors include the support of family and friends, while cultural factors include religious beliefs and practices. Intellectual conditions, such as level of education, can also influence individuals’ perceptions of death and survival.
The Effect on Disaster Behavioral Health Outcomes: These factors should be examined because they can impact the disaster behavioral health outcomes of the survivors. Studies have shown that cultural and religious beliefs can positively impact the mental health of individuals following a traumatic event. The social support of family and friends also plays a critical role in promoting the psychological well-being of survivors.
Comparison with Other Theories: The TMT is one of many theories that attempt to explain survivor thoughts and behaviors following terror events. Another theory is the Conservation of Resources (COR) theory, which suggests that individuals use their resources to cope with traumatic events. However, the TMT is more appropriate in this case because it takes into account cultural and social factors, which are critical in understanding the coping mechanisms of survivors in the aftermath of a terror event.
Conclusion: In conclusion, the TMT is a practical framework for understanding the coping and recovery of survivors following the Christchurch mosque shooting. The theory highlights the importance of cultural and social factors in coping with the anxiety and stress associated with mortality. The cognitive, social, cultural, and intellectual conditions of survivors should be examined to understand their impact on disaster behavioral health outcomes. Compared to other theories, the TMT is more appropriate for this case because it accounts for cultural and social factors.