Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/202510
Title:
A Perspective on the Unique Psychological Function of Soul Belief
Author:
Weise, David
Issue Date:
2011
Publisher:
The University of Arizona.
Rights:
Copyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Abstract:
Surprisingly little experimental research has explored the psychological function of soul belief given its prevalence. As some have noted (e.g., Rank, 1930/1998), soul belief may have evolved to help individuals cope with existential concerns through promises of literal immortality. The research that has been conducted on the function of literal immortality shows that belief in an afterlife minimizes death-related concerns (Dechesne et al., 2003). I propose two separate hypotheses testing the psychological function of soul belief. Hypothesis 1 states that soul belief should minimize the threat of a death reminder (or mortality salience; MS); this hypothesis was supported in Study 1 where soul believers did not show an increase in death-thought accessibility (DTA) following MS, but low soul believers did show an increase. Hypothesis 2 states that soul belief should also offer protection from threats to symbolic immortality related to the prospect of the end-of-world. Studies 2, 3, 4, and 6 support the reasoning behind this hypothesis. However, Study 5 did not support Hypothesis 2. Considering the data that did support Hypothesis 2, soul believers showed less resistance to end-of-world arguments and also did not show an increase in DTA following such arguments; whereas, low soul believers respond to end-of-world arguments with more resistance and heightened DTA. The discussion focuses on interpretations of these findings and remaining questions.
Type:
text; Electronic Dissertation
Keywords:
Soul Belief; Terror management theory; Psychology; Immortality; Mortality
Degree Name:
Ph.D.
Degree Level:
doctoral
Degree Program:
Graduate College; Psychology
Degree Grantor:
University of Arizona
Advisor:
Greenberg, Jeff

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.language.isoenen_US
dc.titleA Perspective on the Unique Psychological Function of Soul Beliefen_US
dc.creatorWeise, Daviden_US
dc.contributor.authorWeise, Daviden_US
dc.date.issued2011-
dc.publisherThe University of Arizona.en_US
dc.rightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.en_US
dc.description.abstractSurprisingly little experimental research has explored the psychological function of soul belief given its prevalence. As some have noted (e.g., Rank, 1930/1998), soul belief may have evolved to help individuals cope with existential concerns through promises of literal immortality. The research that has been conducted on the function of literal immortality shows that belief in an afterlife minimizes death-related concerns (Dechesne et al., 2003). I propose two separate hypotheses testing the psychological function of soul belief. Hypothesis 1 states that soul belief should minimize the threat of a death reminder (or mortality salience; MS); this hypothesis was supported in Study 1 where soul believers did not show an increase in death-thought accessibility (DTA) following MS, but low soul believers did show an increase. Hypothesis 2 states that soul belief should also offer protection from threats to symbolic immortality related to the prospect of the end-of-world. Studies 2, 3, 4, and 6 support the reasoning behind this hypothesis. However, Study 5 did not support Hypothesis 2. Considering the data that did support Hypothesis 2, soul believers showed less resistance to end-of-world arguments and also did not show an increase in DTA following such arguments; whereas, low soul believers respond to end-of-world arguments with more resistance and heightened DTA. The discussion focuses on interpretations of these findings and remaining questions.en_US
dc.typetexten_US
dc.typeElectronic Dissertationen_US
dc.subjectSoul Beliefen_US
dc.subjectTerror management theoryen_US
dc.subjectPsychologyen_US
dc.subjectImmortalityen_US
dc.subjectMortalityen_US
thesis.degree.namePh.D.en_US
thesis.degree.leveldoctoralen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineGraduate Collegeen_US
thesis.degree.disciplinePsychologyen_US
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Arizonaen_US
dc.contributor.advisorGreenberg, Jeffen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberStone, Jeffen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberAllen, John J.B.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberGreenberg, Jeffen_US
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