Evidence that thinking about death relates to time-estimation behavior. Academic Article uri icon


  • Time and death are linked--the passing of time brings us closer to death. Terror management theory proposes that awareness of death represents a potent problem that motivates a variety of psychological defenses (Greenberg, Pyszczynski, & Solomon, 1997). We tested the hypothesis that thinking about death motivates elongated perceptions of brief intervals of time. Studies 7 and 2 found that college students who reported thinking more frequently about death overestimated brief durations. Study 3 found evidence of the predicted causal relationship. Students assigned to think about death provided longer time estimates than those assigned to think about a control topic.

published proceedings

  • Death Stud

author list (cited authors)

  • Martens, A., & Schmeichel, B. J.

citation count

  • 7

complete list of authors

  • Martens, Andy||Schmeichel, Brandon J

publication date

  • January 2011