Examination of actualization and its degree of relationship to death concern
Master of Arts
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The Threat Index (Tl) is purported to tap the cognitive dimensions of an individuals personal meaning of death. Viewed by many researchers as the best validated measurement of death orientation in the literature today, the test yields an "integration" score, determining the extent that an individual can anticipate death as a personal reality. Recently, research on the TI has included an "actualization" score (ACT) based on the discrepancy between an individual's ratings of self and preferred self on a sample of personal constructs. Although researchers have been investigating the utility of such a measure, it has not been clearly established that this is in fact measuring actualization. Traditionally, the Personal Orientation Inventory (POI) is considered by many to be the most widely used and best measure of actualization. This study investigated the relationship of actualization to an individual's death concerns. Specifically, actualization as measured by the TI was compared to actualization as measured by the POI. Questionnaire packages were distributed to 176 introductory Psychology students. Various analyses were conducted to investigate the role of actualization in an individual's concerns over death. The results of these analyses revealed that the POI was a more sensitive measure of actualization than the measure of ACT.