Social Psychology Network

Maintained by Scott Plous, Wesleyan University

Jamie L. Goldenberg

Jamie L. Goldenberg

  • SPN Mentor

Jamie Goldenberg's research focuses on basic questions about human sexuality, culture, and anxiety, with implications for the physical and emotional health of the individual. Using terror management theory as a vehicle, she has initiated a program of research designed to investigate such issues as why cultures set rules and standards to regulate the body and sex, why people are so highly vested in meeting these particular cultural standards that they will often forego their body’s health, and why sexual ambivalence and appearance anxiety are such common problems. She has theorized that the body and sexuality are threatening to humans because they remind us of our mortality by making apparent our physical and animal nature. She further suggests that the body’s “creatureliness” is managed via cultural rules and standards that transform the body into a cultural symbol. In particular, the female body, which has traditionally been considered closer to nature because of its role in reproduction, may be subject to more stringent cultural standards; and women, as a consequence, may be at heightened risk of physical and psychological problems associated with their bodies.

Primary Interests:

  • Culture and Ethnicity
  • Gender Psychology
  • Health Psychology
  • Self and Identity
  • Sexuality, Sexual Orientation


Journal Articles:

  • Cooper, D. P., Goldenberg, J. L., & Arndt, J. (2010). Examination of the terror management health model: The interactive effects of conscious death thought and health-coping variables in potentially fatal health domains. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 36, 937-946.
  • Cox, C. R., Goldenberg, J. L., Arndt, J., & Pyszczynski, T. (2007). Mother’s milk: An existential perspective on negative reactions to breastfeeding. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 33, 110-122.
  • Goldenberg, J. L. (2005). The body stripped down: An existential account of ambivalence toward the physical body. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 14, 224-228.
  • Goldenberg, J. L., & Arndt, J. (2008). The implications of death for health: A terror management model of behavioral health promotion. Psychological Review, 15, 1032-1053.
  • Goldenberg, J. L., Arndt, J., Hart, J., & Brown, M. (2005). Dying to be thin: The effects of mortality salience and body-mass index on restricted eating among women. Personality of Social Psychology Bulletin, 31, 1400-1412.
  • Goldenberg, J. L., Arndt, J., Hart, J., & Routledge, C. (2008). Uncovering an existential barrier to breast self-exam behavior. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 44, 260-274.
  • Goldenberg, J. L., Cooper, D. P., Heflick, N. A., Routledge, C., & Arndt, J. (2011). Is objectification always harmful?: Reactions to objectifying images and feedback as a function of self-objectification and mortality salience. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 47, 443-448.
  • Goldenberg, J. L., Cox, C., Pyszczynski, T., Greenberg, J., & Solomon, S. (2002). Understanding human ambivalence about sex: The effects of stripping sex of its meaning. Journal of Sex Research, 39, 310-320.
  • Goldenberg, J. L., Cox, C.R., Arndt, J., & Goplen, J. (2007). “Viewing” pregnancy as existential threat: The effects of creatureliness on reactions to media depictions of the pregnant body. Media Psychology, 10, 211-230.
  • Goldenberg, J. L., Hart, J., Pyszczynski, T., Warnica, G. M., Landau, M. J., & Thomas, L. (2006). Terror of the body: Death, neuroticism, and the flight from physical sensation. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 32, 1264-1277.
  • Goldenberg, J. L., McCoy, S. K., Pyszczynski, T. Greenberg, J., & Solomon, S. (2000). The body as a source of self-esteem: The effects of mortality salience on identification with one’s body, the appeal of sex, and appearance monitoring. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 79, 118-130.
  • Goldenberg, J. L., Pyszczynski, T. Greenberg, J., & Solomon, S. (2000). Fleeing the body: A terror management perspective on the problem of human corporeality. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 4, 200-218.
  • Goldenberg, J. L., Pyszczynski, T., Greenberg, J., Solomon, S., Kluck, B., & Cornwell, R. (2001). I am NOT an animal: Mortality salience, disgust, and the denial of human creatureliness. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 130, 427-435.
  • Goldenberg, J. L., Pyszczynski, T., McCoy, S. K., Greenberg, J., & Solomon, S. (1999). Death, sex, love, and neuroticism: Why is sex such a problem? Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 77, 1173-1187.
  • Goldenberg, J. L., Routledge, C., & Arndt, J. (2009). Mammograms and the management of existential discomfort: Threats associated with the physicality of the body and neuroticism. Psychology and Health, 24, 563-581.
  • Heflick, N. A., & Goldenberg, J. L. (in press). Objectifying Sarah Palin: Evidence that objectification causes women to be perceived as less competent and less fully human. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology.
  • Heflick, N.A., Goldenberg, J.L., Cooper, D.P., & Puvia, E. (2011). From women to objects: Appearance focus, target gender, and perceptions of warmth, morality and competence. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 47, 572-581.
  • Roberts, T. A., Goldenberg, J. L., Manly, C., & Pyszczynski, T. (2002). Feminine protection: The effects of menstruation on attitudes toward woman. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 26, 131-139.

Other Publications:

  • Goldenberg, J. L., & Roberts, T. A. (2010). The birthmark: An existential account of why women are objectified. In R. Calogero, S. Tantleff-Dunn & J. K. Thompson (Eds.), The Objectification of Women: Innovative Directions in Research and Practice (pp. 77-100). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Courses Taught:

  • Introduction to Psychology
  • Social Psychology
  • The Self

Jamie L. Goldenberg
Department of Psychology
University of South Florida
4202 East Fowler Avenue
Tampa, Florida 33620-7200
United States of America

  • Phone: (813) 974-3459
  • Fax: (813) 974-4617

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