Dying is unexpectedly positive Public Deposited

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  • March 20, 2019
Creator
  • Goranson, Amelia
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Psychology and Neuroscience
Abstract
  • In people’s imagination, dying seems dreadful; however, these perceptions may not reflect reality. In two studies, we compared the affective experience of people facing imminent death with that of people imagining imminent death. Study 1 revealed that blog posts of near-death patients with cancer and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis were more positive and less negative than the simulated blog posts of nonpatients—and also that the patients’ blog posts became more positive as death neared. Study 2 revealed that the last words of death-row inmates were more positive and less negative than the simulated last words of noninmates—and also that these last words were less negative than poetry written by death-row inmates. Together, these results suggest that the experience of dying—even because of terminal illness or execution—may be more pleasant than one imagines.
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Advisor
  • Fredrickson, Barbara
  • Sheeran, Paschal
  • Gray, Kurt
Degree
  • Master of Arts
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Graduate School
Graduation year
  • 2018
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