Lucky to be alive : scarcity effects on evaluation of life
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[ACCESS RESTRICTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI AT REQUEST OF AUTHOR.] The current studies looked to expand upon the wealth of knowledge in the social and behavioral sciences that link scarcity and value. Utilizing exemplar-cue theory and counterfactual reflection as theoretical models, both studies looked to expand upon the previous research by focusing on one's own life instead of topics in general. Since previous research found that mentioning death reminded people of the scarcity of life and therefore boosted life evaluations, this study looked to go one step further and see if this connection could be established without mentioning death. For study 1 the probability of one's existence was manipulated as being relatively high or low utilizing exemplar-cue theory. For study 2 participants wrote counterfactually or factually about their own birth (vs. a control external event). Both studies contained dependent measures that assessed meaning in life, life satisfaction and self-esteem. Study 1 was only partially founded with life satisfaction coming out with the intended findings. Study 2 demonstrated a more robust connection such that writing counterfactually about one's own life led to the highest life evaluations. Implications for the effects of scarcity information on life evaluations are discussed in text
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