Table 1. Terror management theory predictions for how thinking about mortality in association with climate change (GCC) affects people's behavior. GCC primes include a range of stimuli that cause people to think about the impacts of and risks associated with global climate change.

Hypothesis Predictions
GCC primes increase death thought accessibility. Death thought accessibility will increase when people are asked to think about global climate change. High-severity forecasts will increase death thought accessibility more than low-severity forecasts.
People will exhibit proximal defenses in response to information about GCC by:

Denying that the threat exists; GCC prime increases both the frequency and intensity of climate change denial.
Accepting GCC, but denying that humans are the cause; GCC prime increases the intensity of denial that humans cause climate change.
Accepting GCC, but pushing the timing far into the future. GCC prime increases estimates of the amount of time until the occurrence of severe climate-change effects or the tipping point.
People will exhibit distal defenses in response to information about GCC by:

Striving for self-esteem; GCC prime increases striving for self-esteem within the context of the individual’s world view.
Defending their world views; GCC prime increases the intensity and frequency of the world view defense, e.g., making donations to a political party, espousing a world view, defending a world view.
Showing antagonism toward outgroups; GCC prime increases the devaluation and marginalization of and aggression and violence against individuals and groups with opposing world views.
Transference idealization. GCC prime increases the valuation of leaders with a shared world view and the propensity to grant power to world view leaders.