Individual Presentation:
• Brian D’Agostino: Death Anxiety in Our Polarized World: Introduction to Terror Management Theory (60 min)

Abstract: This presentation reviews key findings of Terror Management Theory (TMT), a body of research in experimental psychology that examines the psychological causes and effects of death anxiety. I apply TMT, which is based on the work of Ernest Becker, to large-group manifestations of death anxiety in our current global civilization. Topics include the role of belief systems in managing death anxiety, direct sources of death imagery (e.g. pandemics, wars), indirect sources (e.g. challenges to belief systems), ideological polarization, and the relationship between death anxiety management and self-esteem.

Bio: Brian D’Agostino, Ph.D. is President of the International Psychohistorical Association. He is the author of peer reviewed research in political psychology, numerous articles on psychohistory and public affairs, and The Middle Class Fights Back: How Progressive Movements Can Restore Democracy in America. Visit his website at