Montana State University

Terror management expert to speak Feb. 2 at MSU

January 17, 2007 -- From MSU News Service

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MSU News Service
Tel: (406) 994-4571
BOZEMAN - A public lecture on terrorism and current politics will be given at noon Friday, Feb. 2, in 204 Traphagen Hall at Montana State University.

Thomas Pyszczynski, one of social psychology's preeminent scholars and a leading expert on Terror Management Theory, will speak on "The great Satan versus the axis of evil: A Terror Management Theory perspective on terrorism and political extremism." He will speak broadly about the influence and significance of "mortality salience," particularly as it relates to terrorism and current politics.

Mortality salience is the awareness of death that can come in many forms, such as seeing images of 9/11 or passing a funeral home. Terror Management Theory suggests that awareness of the inevitability and finality of death may lead to feelings of terror that affect human behavior in predictable ways.

Pyszczynski is a psychology professor at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. His talk is hosted by MSU's psychology department and funded by a College of Letters and Science Research Enhancement Award.

For more information, contact Jessi L. Smith, (406) 994-3801 or

Evelyn Boswell, (406) 994-5135 or