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Thinking About Death Makes You A Better Human

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Eric Lieberman Deputy Editor
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People who think about near-death experiences and mortality in general are more likely to be fully engaged in life and act authentically, according to a study.

There is an apparent link between being genuine and vividness of incidences that triggered thoughts about mortality, according to researchers at Texas A&M University and Montana State University. (RELATED: PROOF: Women Like Men Who Are Already Taken)

“Results indicated that how vividly a mortality experience was recalled predicted greater authenticity and more important goal-pursuits,” the official abstract of the study reads.

There were 457 participants, according to PsyPost, and researchers conducted three separate studies to verify there results.

The lead author of the study, Elizabeth Seto of Texas A&M, undertook the project because “there is a pervasive idea that being your true, authentic self is the key to leading a happy, meaningful life” while not much is known “about the experiences that help us feel in touch with our true selves.”

She notes that existential philosopher Martin Heidegger suggested that authenticity is most likely rooted in the ways people contemplate death.

“I believe that contemplations about death may seem debilitating at times, but how we think about death can be related to positive psychological outcomes,” Seto said, according to PsyPost.

She adds that their “research does not clarify a mechanism underlying this relationship.” But Seto does think the findings are likely significant, because it makes sense that an experience with mortality may be such an important life event that it propels “movement towards authenticity” and profoundly affects a person’s goals and aspirations. (RELATED: Study: Having An Attractive Partner Means Less Empathy From Others)

“This research suggests that Martin Heidegger and other existential philosophers’ beliefs are generally supported, but not without the occasional exception,” Seto concludes, according to PsyPost.

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