Motivation for military service: A terror management perspective

Orit Taubman-Ben-Ari, Liora Findler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


This study examined the effects of mortality salience on the motivation for military service in Israel using the terror management theory framework. Shortly before conscription into the army, 156 young men completed a self-esteem scale and were then randomly assigned to either a mortality salience condition or a control condition. The dependent variables were self-reported motivation to serve in the army and anticipation of physical and mental hardships. Mortality salience was found to be associated with a higher level of motivation for military service and a higher anticipation of physical hardships in the army than the control condition, but only for high-self-esteem respondents. The results are discussed in view of the self-esteem and worldview defense mechanisms proposed by the terror management theory.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)149-159
Number of pages11
JournalMilitary Psychology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2006


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