Further Reflections on the Pursuit of Psychological Security in Daily Life

Authored by: Alexander J. Rothman , Allison K. Farrell , Lisa Auster-Gussman

Handbook of Personal Security

Print publication date:  May  2015
Online publication date:  April  2015

Print ISBN: 9781848726758
eBook ISBN: 9781315713595
Adobe ISBN: 9781317498476


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When viewed through the lens of personal security, people’s daily lives appear to be fraught with potential challenges to their physical and psychological health. We regularly make decisions that involve financial, consumer, political, health, and interpersonal outcomes that can be uncertain and potentially adverse. Yet, typically, people navigate these challenges successfully, managing these threats in a way that maintains their sense of well-being. How does this happen? The four chapters in this section of the volume provide compelling accounts of how people’s motivation to maintain psychological security—the phrase used by Shepperd and Howell (this volume)—enables them to manage decisions that involve economic or consumer concerns (Leonardelli, Bohns, & Gu, this volume; Shepherd, Kay, & Eibach, this volume), political concerns (Shepherd et al., this volume), and health concerns (Andrews & Sweeny, this volume; Shepperd & Howell, this volume). These efforts serve an adaptive function as they enable people to maintain confidence in the financial decisions they make, the consumer products they purchase, the governmental services they rely on, and the health behaviors they perform, but they can also prove maladaptive. In some cases, they perpetuate decision-making patterns that have adverse long-term consequences for people’s financial and physical well-being as well as inhibiting efforts to pursue potential changes to the prevailing political, economic, and health systems.

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