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The Worm At The Core:
On The Role Of Death In Life
Presented by: Dr. Sheldon Solomon, PhD

June 21st l 7:00pm l 2 CEUs

Location: Philadelphia Ethical Society  

1906 Rittenhouse Square, Philadelphia, PA 19103  


Early bird      • $65 General admission  /  $60 w/o CEs     • $60 Student  /  $55 w/o CE

After 6/1        • $75 General admission / $70 w/o CE     • $70 Student / $65 w/CE


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About The Topic

The uniquely human fear of death has a pervasive effect on human beings’ thoughts, feelings, and behavior.  Humans manage the terror of death by adhering to culturally constructed beliefs about reality that provide a sense that one is a person of value in a world of meaning, and thus eligible for either literal or symbolic immortality.  The quest for immortality underlies some of humankind’s most noble achievements.  It also, however, engenders some of our most ignominious affectations, including: hostility and disdain for people with different beliefs; indifference to, or contempt for, the natural environment; and, the mindless pursuit of material possessions—which, if unchecked, may render humans the first form of life responsible for their own extinction.  Dr. Solomon will present an overview of these ideas and empirical work that corroborates them, and then consider the implications of these notions for personal and interpersonal behavior, as well as for clinical practice.


Learning Objectives:

• To learn how (generally non-conscious) death anxiety has a pervasive effect on human attitudes and behaviors.
• To become acquainted with empirical research demonstrating that conscious and unconscious death thoughts influence attitudes and behaviors.
• To learn how existential anxieties underlie some psychological disorders and amplify the symptoms of other disorders, and consider implications for clinical practice.


About The Presenter

Dr. Sheldon Solomon, PhD, is a Professor of Psychology at Skidmore College.  His studies of the effects of the uniquely human awareness of death on behavior have been supported by the National Science Foundation and Ernest Becker Foundation, and were featured in the award winning documentary film Flight from Death: The Quest for Immortality.  He is co-author of In the Wake of 9/11: The Psychology of Terror and The Worm at the Core: On the Role of Death in Life.  Dr. Solomon is an American Psychological Society Fellow, and a recipient of an American Psychological Association Presidential Citation (2007), a Lifetime Career Award by the International Society for Self and Identity (2009), and the Association of Graduate Liberal Studies Programs Annual Faculty Award (2011).


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PSP has been approved by NBCC as an Approved continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 6637. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. PSP is solely responsible for all aspects of the program. Participants are eligible to earn CE hours based on the number of groups attended and completion of a brief course evaluation.