A Cross-Cultural Comparison of Death Anxiety: Australia, China, Japan and the USA

Event status:

China Studies Research Centre Seminar Series

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Date:
Thursday 15 March 2018 02:30 pm until Thursday 15 March 2018 04:00 pm (Add to calendar)
Contact:
Jean Zhang
039479 3889; csrc@latrobe.edu.au
Presented by:
Associate Professor Emiko Kashima
Type of Event:
Seminar/Workshop/Training
Cost:
Free

Death anxiety can have negative impacts on individuals’ health and social behaviours as decades of research in social psychology has shown. Yet, how the strength of death anxiety may vary across individuals and culture is still mostly unknown. The present cross-cultural investigation (N = 1703) assessed death anxiety in China, Japan, the USA and Australia, by drawing community samples and using multiple measures. Consistent with the Chinese cultural taboo of mentioning ‘death’ in public, death anxiety was highest in China followed by Japan and considerably lower in both USA and Australia. It was anticipated that religiosity may lower the concern for mortality; however, higher religiosity (belief in supernatural being and benefits of religious institutions and practices) was associated with lower death anxiety only in Australia and the USA. Chinese people also showed higher levels of religiosity compared to the Japanese and Australians despite their high fear of death. Death anxiety was also associated with some social attitudes, including intention to donate organs, across countries. Subtle but important cultural differences in peoples’ feelings and thoughts about death (and life) were observed, and this talk will highlight some of the key findings.

About the Speaker

Emi Kashima, Associate Professor in Social and Cultural Psychology, is interested in broad issues concerning cultural adaptation, including human threat reactions and cross-cultural adjustment. She has published widely on coping with death reminders, from individual differences and cultural variation to brain processes. Emi is also active in international collaborative research across the globe and especially in Asia. She is currently president of the Asian Association of Social Psychology https://asiansocialpsych.org/.

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Room 318, Education 2 (ED2)

La Trobe University

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