Three studies examined the terror management function of romantic commitment. In Study 1 ( = 94), making mortality salient led to higher reports of romantic commitment on the Dimensions of Commitment Inventory ( ) than control conditions. In Study 2 ( = 60), the contextual salience of thoughts about romantic commitment reduced the effects of mortality salience on judgments of social transgressions. In Study 3 ( = 100), the induction of thoughts about problems in romantic relationships led to higher accessibility of death-related thoughts than did the induction of thoughts about either academic problems or a neutral theme. The findings expand terror management theory, emphasizing the anxiety-buffering function of close relationships.
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