TMT warrants special attention, as a clearly ground-breaking and startlingly bold confrontation with the conventional wisdom in social sciences and its implications in the broader philosophical disciplines. Over the past 25 years a pioneering group of experimental social psychologists has amassed a scientifically significant body of empirical evidence substantiating Ernest Becker's synthesis to an amazing degree.

Daniel Liechty, writing in the dedication for The Becker Reader rightly praises the originators of Terror Management Theory as "three who refused to believe it when told these ideas could never be tested scientifically." TMT has grown from a belittled and obscure theory to become the most cited material in the scientific literature seeking to understand the existential roots of terrorist violence. Through their work, that of their students, and now even the students of their students, TMT has gained a strong and expanding reputation.

A full bibliography of TMT material is available at the Terror Management Theory website.


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Laughing at Death

Becker “too dark?” He said laughter reflects a very advanced stage of faith and grace. See Neil’s "Laughing at Death: The evolution of humor to disarm fundamentalism.”

Download a .pdf version of Neil's essay here.