Mortality salience–shedding light on the dark experience

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14 Scopus citations


Mortality salience, a key term in Terror Management Theory, refers to self-awareness of one’s vulnerability and ultimate mortality. This exploratory study, based on psychology and tourism literature, clarifies the degree to which a visit to a heritage site of death and atrocities evokes mortality salience as well as the relationship between mortality salience and various dimensions of the visit experience. The findings indicate that not only was mortality salience evoked during the visit, it is also an important component in understanding the motivation to visit dark sites, the emotional experience of the visit, and the impact of the visit on visitors. We therefore propose that the conceptualization and management of a death-centered heritage site can be enriched by the integration of sense of mortality salience. Additionally, the high Cronbach’s alpha suggests that the study can provide an initial basis for a scale to quantitatively measure Mortality Salience.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)574-578
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Heritage Tourism
Issue number5-6
StatePublished - 2 Nov 2019


  • Auschwitz death camp
  • Mortality salience
  • dark tourism
  • tourist behavior
  • visit experience

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


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