Joseph Hayes, Professor

Email address:

Telephone: (902) 585-1418

Office location: Horton Hall 304

Lab location: Horton Hall 409/418/420

Classes recently taught: Personality, Research Design & Statistics 1 (graduate level), Advanced Research Methods, Advanced Seminar in Tests and Measurements


B.A. (Honours), Saint Francis Xavier University

M.A., University of Alberta

Ph.D., University of Alberta


Dr. Hayes is a social-personality researcher, who examines how people cope with the knowledge of inevitable death. Much of his research has examined the processes through which people manage death-related thoughts when they arise. Another aspect of his research program examines withdrawal responses to threatening circumstances (e.g., giving up in the face of failure) and is investigating the causes and consequences of withdrawing from the goal to continue living.


Hayes, J. & Clerk, L. (2021). Fatalism in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic: Implications for mitigation and mental health. Frontiers in Psychology, 12, 560092. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2021.560092

Hayes, J. & Schimel, J. (2018). Unintended effects of measuring implicit processes: The case of death-thought accessibility in mortality salience studies. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 74, 257-269.

Hayes, J. & Hubley, C. (2017). Between a rock and a hard place: When affirming life reduces depression, but increases anxiety. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 36, 860-882.

Hayes, J. (2016). Praising the dead: On the motivational tendency and psychological function of eulogizing the deceased. Motivation and Emotion, 40, 375-388.

Hayes, J., Ward, C., & McGregor, I. (2016). Why bother? Death, failure, and fatalistic withdrawal from life. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 110, 96-115.

Hayes, J., Schimel, J., Arndt, J., & Faucher, E. H. (2010). A theoretical and empirical review of the death-thought accessibility concept in terror management research. Psychological Bulletin, 136, 699-739.


Honours Students

Hatcher, Allison (2022). Associations between Fatalistic Withdrawal from Life and Physical Health.

Johnson, Pearse (2021). Understanding united states political differences in willingness to follow public health guidelines during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Tupper, Robb (2021). The art of self-deception: Individual differences in death-thought accessibility following standard manipulations of mortality salience and delay.

Clerk, Laura (2020). It’s pointless anyway: Understanding dire messaging, fatalism, and low intentions to address the climate crisis.

DeGrace, Sarah (2020). Suicide in the face of existential dread: A goal-regulation perspective on suicide ideation.

Glockmann-Musto, Santina (2020). Death thoughts and indeterminacy: Is the word-fragment measure of death-thought accessibility tainted by within-task priming?

Graduate Students

Gouthro, Amanda (2022). Does cannabis reduce anxiety by activating approach motivation? An exploration of potential anxiolytic effects of cannabis that are independent of the drug itself.

Fisher, Alexandra (2022). On having low self-esteem and being torn about wanting a more positive self-view: A goal-regulation perspective on the puzzle of low self-esteem.