Front. Commun.
Sec. Health Communication
doi: 10.3389/fcomm.2022.967464

Testing the TEBOTS model in self-threatening situations: The role of narratives in the face of ostracism and mortality

  • 1Department of Media and Communication, Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, Germany
  • 2University of Mannheim, Germany
Provisionally accepted:
The final, formatted version of the article will be published soon.

Previous research on the TEBOTS model has demonstrated that narratives are sought after more often in times of depletion. This study aimed at expanding this idea by applying the TEBOTS model to self-threatening states and testing whether these also lead to an increased engagement with narratives. In a 3(Threat: mortality salience vs. ostracism vs. control) × 2(Review of the narrative: positive vs. negative) online experiment (N=228), we tested whether self-threats and the expectation of the narrative led to increased levels of entertainment experience. Further, it was tested whether narratives can serve as a coping instrument during self-threats by facilitating self-serving attributions. Results demonstrated that self-threats and a positive review indeed increased the entertainment experience. Further, narratives could support buffering from existential threats. These findings are discussed in light of the TEBOTS model and its application in the context of self-threats.

Keywords: Self-threats, mortality salience (MS), ostracism, TEBOTS, narrative engagement

Received: 12 Jun 2022; Accepted: 02 Sep 2022.

Copyright: © 2022 Rieger and Schneider. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Prof. Diana Rieger, Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, Department of Media and Communication, Munich, Germany