My research explores different aspects of existential human motivation and its implications for individual and societal well-being. I am particularly interested in studying how existential concerns can be a source of strength and virtue rather than a source of dread and destruction. I have studied, for example, how perceptions of (secular) sacredness, or famous people who represent cultural values, can protect people against existential anxiety and its potentially toxic byproducts.
- Aggression, Conflict, Peace
- Culture and Ethnicity
- Life Satisfaction, Well-Being
- Motivation, Goal Setting
- Political Psychology
- Self and Identity
- Diener, E., Kesebir, P., & Lucas, R. (2008). Benefits of accounts of well-being--For societies and for psychological science. Applied Psychology, 57, 37-53.
- Kesebir, P., & Diener, E. (2008). In pursuit of happiness: Empirical answers to philosophical questions. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 3, 117-125.
- Kesebir, P., & Kesebir, S. (2012). The cultural salience of moral character and virtue declined in twentieth century America. Journal of Positive Psychology, 7, 471-480.
- Kesebir, P., Luszczynska, A., Pyszczynski, T., & Benight, C. (2011). Posttraumatic stress disorder involves disrupted anxiety-buffer mechanisms. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 30, 819-841.
- Kesebir, P., & Pyszczynski, T. (2011). A moral-existential account of the psychological factors fostering intergroup conflict. Social and Personality Psychology Compass, 5, 878-890.
- Pyszczynski, T., & Kesebir, P. (2011). Anxiety buffer disruption theory: A terror management account of posttraumatic stress disorder. Anxiety, Stress, & Coping, 24, 3-26.
- Pyszczynski, T., Motyl, M., Vail III, K. E., Hirschberger, G., Arndt, J., & Kesebir, P. (2012). Drawing attention to global climate change decreases support for war. Peace and Conflict: Journal of Peace Psychology, 18, 354-368.
- Chao, M., & Kesebir, P. (2011). Culture: The grand web of meaning. The Experience of Meaning in Life: Perspectives from the Psychological Sciences. In J. Hicks & C. Routledge (Eds.), The Experience of Meaning in Life: Perspectives from the Psychological Sciences. New York: Springer Press.
- Diener, E., Kesebir, P., & Tov, W. (2009). Happiness. In M. Leary & R. H. Hoyle (Eds.), Handbook of Individual Differences in Social Behavior (pp. 147-160). New York: Guilford Press.
- Kesebir, P. (2011). Existential functions of culture: The monumental immortality project. In A. Leung, C.-Y. Chiu, and Y.-Y. Hong (Eds.), Cultural Processes: A Social Psychological Perspective (pp. 96-110). New York: Oxford University Press.
- Kesebir, P., & Diener, E. (2008). In defense of happiness: Why policymakers should care about subjective well-being. In L. Bruni, M. Pugno, and F. Comim (Eds.), Happiness and Capabilities. London: Oxford University Press.
- Kesebir, P., & Pyszczynski, T. (2012). The role of death in life: Existential aspects of human motivation. In R. Ryan (Ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Human Motivation (pp. 43-64). New York: Oxford University Press.
- Pyszczynski, T., & Kesebir, P. (2012). Culture, ideology, morality, and religion: Death changes everything. In M. Mikulincer & P. R. Shaver (Eds.), The Social Psychology of Meaning, Mortality, and Choice (pp. 75-91). Washington, D.C.: APA Press.
Department of Psychology
University of Colorado
1420 Austin Bluffs Parkway
Colorado Springs, Colorado 80918
- Phone: (312) 330-1132