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Spiritual experiences evoke awe through the small self in both religious and non-religious individuals

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Abstract

Spiritual experiences are profound moments of personal transcendence, connection, and wonder. Five studies (total N = 1064) investigate how spiritual experiences induce feelings of awe, in both religious and non-religious people, through a sense of small self. Recalling spiritual experiences increased feelings of Awe (Studies 1–5), Small Self (Studies 2, 4, & 5), and Spiritual Humility (Studies 3 & 4), but did not impact Intellectual Humility (Studies 3 & 4). We thus note a paradox – spirituality promotes humility toward the divine, but not humility about one's beliefs. Moreover, the effect of spiritual experiences on Awe was mediated by feelings of Small Self (Studies 2, 4 & 5) and Spirituality Humility (Studies 3 & 4). The effects of spiritual experiences on Awe and Small Self were found in both religious and non-religious individuals, but religious people recalled more explicit religious events and life and death events as sources of spirituality, whereas non-religious people were more likely to report experiences in nature, peak experiences, science, and yoga/ meditation as spiritual experiences. Though religious and non-religious people may generate different types of spiritual experiences, we conclude that spirituality induces awe through the feelings of small self that are shared by religious and non-religious individuals, and this may help us to understand the meaning of spirituality without religion.

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... or these disparate forms of humility. Some past research implies that awe inductions bolster trait humility given that measures of trait humility were used following awe inductions (e.g., Preston & Shin, 2017) however in the absence of longitudinal data, such data seem better interpreted as finding an increase in state humility. Measures of trait humility may act as a proxy for state humility, although it is certainly possible that extreme experiences of awe can alter trait humility. ...
... Additionally, various research demonstrates that induced positive awe leads to more feelings of general humility and causes participants to divulge more of their weaknesses as compared to controls (Gallagher et al., 2015;Preston & Shin, 2017;Quesnel & Riecke, 2018;Stellar et al., 2018). It's not clear, however, whether the increased focus on weaknesses reflects a more honest and accurate self-assessment than the controls' self-assessments (if the control group were prone to self-enhancement biases for example) or whether the weaknesses divulged are more indicative of self-abasing humility (possibly if the weaknesses were exaggerated or if they were accompanied by negative affect). ...
... To our knowledge, this has only been directly assayed once with participants recalling a spiritual experience that elicited awe. In this study, only the non-religious participants reported a meager increase in trait intellectual humility after the awe induction (which again, may be best interpreted as a raise in state intellectual humility) whereas the religious group reported no increase in intellectual humility after feeling awe (Preston & Shin, 2017). The reason for this disparity is not clear, however it may be possible that the non-religious participants felt more awe from recalling spiritual experiences, assuming this evoked more uncertainty or a need for cognitive accommodation amongst this group as they could not readily explain their mystical experience in a ready-made religious way. ...
... In general, the development of spiritual intelligence can be seen as the use of abilities and spiritual resources in the actual situation. There is a two-way promoting effect between awe and spirituality (Saroglou et al., 2008;Van Cappellen and Saroglou, 2012;Preston and Shin, 2016). However, spiritual experiences do not affect intellectual humility and the need for cognitive closure, both of which are associated with the epistemological aspects of awe (Preston and Shin, 2016). ...
... There is a two-way promoting effect between awe and spirituality (Saroglou et al., 2008;Van Cappellen and Saroglou, 2012;Preston and Shin, 2016). However, spiritual experiences do not affect intellectual humility and the need for cognitive closure, both of which are associated with the epistemological aspects of awe (Preston and Shin, 2016). Awe can theoretically promote spiritual experience and thus promote the spiritual intelligence of an individual (Green and Noble, 2010). ...
... Awe could be a perception of threat and danger, and it could also (more often) occur in most areas such as nature, social events, and religion (Gordon et al., 2016). Preston and Shin (2016) found that people with religious beliefs are more inclined to take religious activities, life and death events, as the source of spirituality, and spiritual experience induces their feelings of awe. For example, the awe of God makes people feel deeply connected with others, which make them more satisfied with their life (Krause and Hayward, 2015). ...
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Based on the broaden-and-build theory of positive emotions, this study explored the mediating effect of spiritual intelligence between awe and life satisfaction among Chinese primary school teachers and whether this effect was moderated by ethnicity. Participants comprised 569 teachers from 24 primary schools in southwestern China, where many of the ethnic minority groups of China reside. Awe and spiritual intelligence were found to positively predict life satisfaction among primary school teachers, while awe also indirectly influenced life satisfaction through the partial mediation of spiritual intelligence. Ethnicity was also found to moderate the relation between awe and life satisfaction, i.e., when compared with the Han teachers, there is a more significant and positive relation between awe and life satisfaction in ethnic minority teachers. These findings not only indicate the critical role of awe in promoting life satisfaction of primary school teachers but also especially show that awe embodied in the traditional cultural activities makes it easier to breed life satisfaction in ethnic minority teachers.
... Transpersonal experience involves a process of "decentering from egocentrism" and developing a sympathetic compassion toward all beings (Hunt, 2016, p. 3). Denomination-transcendent church groups are defined by practices that support the nondual, unitive thought processes, emergence of the "small self," awe, and wonder considered necessary to encounter a God who transcends all division (Hunt, 2016;Mboya, 2016;Preston & Shin, 2017). ...
... Piaget asserted that one's cognitive understanding is defined and redefined as one's locus of control expands, and one encounters new situations (Kallio, 2015). According to Piaget's theory on cognitive development, when someone encounters a new situation for which he/she had not prepared, one either changes his/her worldview to accommodate this new information or assimilates it by changing the information slightly to make fit the existing worldview (Bormanaki & Khoshhal, 2017;Exline, Hall, Pargament, & Harriott, 2016;Kallio, 2015;Preston & Shin, 2017). One's understanding of the world is always changing, even as it stays within certain, relatively stable, parameters, constituting ongoing development. ...
... The Christian community recognizes humility as both a transcendent virtue and a marker of spiritual maturity (Edwards, 2015;Mbennah, 2016;Tomlinson et al., 2016;Vanhoozer, 2015;Wolfteich et al., 2016). Preston and Shin (2017) confirmed that humility is the result of spiritual experiences that stimulate awe, supporting the perception of the "small self" in relation to something or someone greater than one's self. ...
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The purpose of this qualitative descriptive study was to describe how Christians in Arizona, ages 30-50, coped with their experiences of impostor phenomenon during spiritual identity formation. The conceptual framework for this study included social influence theory, subject-object constructive-development theory, and approach/avoidance coping model of stress. Three research questions guided this study: How do Christians in Arizona, ages 30-50, experience impostor phenomenon during spiritual identity formation, How does the church support Christians in Arizona, ages 30-50, in their experience of impostor phenomenon during spiritual identity formation, and How do Christians in Arizona, ages 30-50, cope with their experiences of impostor phenomenon. The study used semistructured individual interviews with 10 participants and a semistructured focus group interview with four participants, which were a subset of the sample. The researcher utilized an inductive, thematic data analysis strategy. The data from this study resulted in four themes: We experience an ongoing identity crisis in our spiritual identity; Resources connected to overcoming impostor phenomenon during spiritual identity formation are scarce; We need help becoming more holistically authentic people; and We cope with impostor phenomenon by becoming more holistically authentic people. The data collected and analyzed in this study suggested a cyclical and symbiotic relationship between spiritual identity development and holistic identity development triggered by the stressful experience of impostor phenomenon.
... A study of threat-based variants of awe, in comparison to positive variants, showed a link to lower self-control and certainty in the experience, and more pronounced feelings of fear (Gordon et al., 2016); recently, horror was explored alongside awe as responses linked to schema incongruence (Taylor & Uchida, 2019), suggesting that the type of incongruence was an important factor in distinguishing between responses. Awe has also been linked to spiritual experiences (Preston & Shin, 2017), and feelings of humility (Stellar et al., 2018). ...
... Traditionally, awe has been linked to the need for cognitive accommodation and the perception of vastness (Keltner & Haidt, 2003), may involve aspects of threat and fear (Gordon et al., 2016;Keltner & Haidt, 2003), and can be conceptualised in terms of subordination to a perceived event, person or object, sometimes leading to a perceived 'small self' (Campos et al., 2013;Preston & Shin, 2017); examples of elicitors may include the majestic beauty of nature (Cohen, Gruber & Keltner, 2010), or the admiration of great heroes (Shiota et al., 2007). Awe also appears to be distinct from other emotional experiences, recently supported in a cross-cultural paradigm (Razavi et al., 2016). ...
... The proposed social functions underlying awe has been supported more recently. Awe has been characterised as a collective emotion that serves to diminish a sense of self and encourage assimilation and oneness with broader social identities (Spears et al., 2011); awe has further been linked to prosocial behaviours such as generosity (Piff et al., 2015) and humility (Preston & Shin, 2017;Stellar et al., 2018); finally, Stellar et al. (2018) has proposed that awe refers to a family of states including elevation, admiration and appreciation. ...
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The phenomenon of musical chills has attracted extensive attention in previous music and emotion research, correlating the experience with musical structure, psychoacoustics parameters, individual differences in listeners, and the listening situation. However, there are three crucial limitations in the literature: 1) The emotional characteristics of musical chills have not been explored, and are poorly understood; 2) musical chills have never been causally manipulated, and no theories have been tested; and 3) it is unclear whether chills are a unified psychological construct, or a set of distinct experiences, distinguished at the levels of subjective feeling, psychophysiological response, individual differences, and underlying psychological induction mechanisms. Across five studies, ranging from qualitative surveys to experimental manipulations of musical chills, these limitations were addressed in the current thesis, with results suggesting firstly that musical chills are often mixed emotional experiences, described as moving, bittersweet and intense; secondly, that musical chills can be manipulated, and corresponding theories tested, with a novel experimental paradigm, by removing key sections in a piece or changing psychoacoustic parameters such as loudness and brightness; finally, that there are likely distinct types of chills experiences, which across multimedia are linked to both the affective dimension of valence and individual differences such as trait empathy, and with music through mechanisms of fear and vigilance on the one hand, and social bonding on the other. The studies and results are discussed in terms of two categories of musical chills experiences, culminating in a preliminary Distinct Musical Chills Framework, producing a series of testable hypotheses for future empirical work, and a comprehensive research agenda for the field moving forward.
... Personal accounts of awe felt during experiences with religion, spirituality, nature, and art are often centered on two themes: the feeling of being diminished in the presence of something greater than the self and the motivation to be good to others (e.g., Bonner & Friedman, 2011;Clewis et al., 2022;James, 1922James, /1985Piff et al., 2015;Preston & Shin, 2016). ...
... Meanwhile, while multiple studies have measured the extent to which awe experiences influence spiritual and religious feelings, little is known about whether being religious or spiritual makes people more or less likely to experience awe (see Gallagher et al., 2015). One study found that both religious and nonreligious people reported feeling awe and experiencing the small self when recounting a spiritual experience (Preston & Shin, 2016). This occurred despite differences in the types of spiritual experiences: religious people were more likely to mention religious or life-or-death events, while nonreligious people were more likely to mention experiences in nature or with yoga/meditation. ...
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This article takes advantage of iconography’s long tradition in Christianity to study “religious paintings” as a “prototype” of sublime stimuli to explore self-transcending, awe experiences among 90 viewers from different Christian backgrounds living in Greece (Orthodox) and Canada (Catholics, Orthodox, and Protestants). Religious paintings that entail concurrently the esthetic and religious strands of the sublime were used as an exemplar to magnify the complex relationship between the moral and the esthetic aspects, the negative and the positive in awe/sublime experience, across cultures and Christian backgrounds. We used the structure of self-construal (of independence, or interdepen�dence) to explore participants’ reaction to positive and negative religious themes that belong to Western and eastern painting tradition. The results underscore the impact of culture on the spectators’ experiences of negative images, prompting accommodation or assimilation via self-reflection involving transcendence and moral thoughts. The experi�ence of “being moved” was central for the Canadian groups. “Emotional symbolism” appeared more important to Greeks who, the more they feel moved, the more engage in moral reflections in front of the painful and Western-style paintings. This appears reversed for all Canadian groups who engage in emotional symbolism and moral reflection when they are less moved. It is proposed that sublime experiences may be seen as an awe response (“thin sublime”) and the element of extended self-reflection (either intersubjective which rather prompts accommodation; or, subjective which rather stimulates assimilation) could turn the experience into a “thick sublime” transcending experience. Keywords: sublime–awe, self-transcendence, aesthetics, morality, culture, self-reflection
... One pathway is through awe . In the writings of William James (1902James ( /1997 and more recently in scientific work (Cohen et al., 2010;Keltner & Haidt, 2003;Preston & Shin, 2017;Van Cappellen & Saroglou, 2012), awe is central to the mystical experience that people often deem "spiritual." This experience is cultivated by religious ritual, ceremony, and practice (e.g., prayer, chanting, or sacred music). ...
... Figure 1 highlights how the awe that arises during spiritual and religious engagement might benefit mental and physical health. To the extent that transformative spiritual experiences bring about shifts in a sense of self (Preston & Shin, 2017), for example, one might expect this facet of awe to reduce subjective and physiological stress. Religious ceremony and spiritual practices often involve strong shared experiences of awe, which likely benefit health and well-being (e.g., Sohi et al., 2018;. ...
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How do experiences in nature or in spiritual contemplation or in being moved by music or with psychedelics promote mental and physical health? Our proposal in this article is awe. To make this argument, we first review recent advances in the scientific study of awe, an emotion often considered ineffable and beyond measurement. Awe engages five processes—shifts in neurophysiology, a diminished focus on the self, increased prosocial relationality, greater social integration, and a heightened sense of meaning—that benefit well-being. We then apply this model to illuminate how experiences of awe that arise in nature, spirituality, music, collective movement, and psychedelics strengthen the mind and body.
... 1 Following an anonymous reviewer's suggestion, we have tested our four moderated mediation models separately among religious and nonreligious subsamples to investigate whether the role of daily spiritual experiences varies among religious and nonreligious participants (see Preston & Shin, 2017 for a discussion of the nature of spirituality among religious and nonreligious individuals). These separate analyses showed that all the indices of moderated mediation effects were insignificant for both religious and nonreligious subgroups. ...
... These results suggest that daily spiritual experiences may fulfill a similar function for the purpose in life among both religious and nonreligious individuals and that these effects may be stronger among religious individuals. These findings support the research of Preston and Shin (2017), who identified the effects of spiritual experiences on awe and small self both in religious and nonreligious individuals; however, these two groups differed in regard to their sources of spirituality. Moreover, since in the current investigation, the religious and nonreligious subsample sizes at T1 and T2 were lower than the sample size of 486 individuals that was needed to achieve sufficient power analysis, we interpret these results concerning comparisons of religious and nonreligious individuals with caution. ...
... For awe and being moved, responses were averaged for each stimulus, across 13 items from the AWE-S, and 11 items from the KAMMUS-2. As both instruments have recently been developed independently, it was unclear how rating patterns for both would be compared; in an early diagnosis, a principal components analysis of the subjective feeling scales (see the Supplementary Material) reported that both instruments showed reasonable separation given some conceptual overlaps between the two states Konečni, 2005;Menninghaus et al., 2015;Piff et al., 2015;Preston & Shin, 2017;Spears et al., 2011;Stellar et al., 2018), but the distribution of awe scores was generally higher compared to being moved, suggesting a different behavioural range of reporting. To allow for more intuitive comparisons across 13 awe items and 11 being moved items, AWE-S and KAMMUS-2 average ratings were normalised within each instrument, across participants; the same procedure was performed for EQ and SQ-R data, accommodating different scoring totals. ...
... The current experiment assessed vigilance and social chills as separable experiences based on various factors, but there are notable overlaps that will need to be examined further. For example, there is the conceptual overlap of awe and kama muta as two emotional states linked to prosocial processing Konečni, 2005;Menninghaus et al., 2015;Piff et al., 2015;Preston & Shin, 2017;Spears et al., 2011;Stellar et al., 2018); there is also a duality surrounding moments of contrast in music (e.g. sudden dynamic changes), which seem capable of engaging vigilance and social mechanisms, depending on the circumstances and experimental approach. ...
... In not requiring participants to evaluate statements about their priming experience, we ensure that no explicit categorization of the sensory input (as grand, self-relevant, dangerous, inspiring, or otherwise) is provided. The potential demand effects of small-self measurement following awe priming have been noted by Preston and Shin (2017;Study 5). ...
... Being cognitively overwhelmed-that is, struggling to "accommodate" a stimulus into existing concepts of the world-was defined by Keltner and Haidt (2003) as a central feature of the awe experience, but there is disagreement over how accommodation difficulty should be measured Preston & Shin, 2017;Schurtz et al., 2012;Stellar et al., 2018;Valdesolo & Graham, 2014). We designed a measure of accommodation difficulty, assuming that the difficulty could, essentially, be one of classifying an atypical stimulus as a member of a base-level category (i.e., caves) and superordinate/broader categories (i.e., mountain landscapes, natural rarities; Ashby & Maddox, 1998). ...
Article
People in a state of awe have been found to perceive their needs as small while also expressing intentions to act in a prosocial way, benefitting others at personal cost. However, these findings come largely out of the USA and have focused on intended rather than real prosocial behavior. We propose a contextual model of the awe-prosociality relationship predicated on the constructed theory of emotion, according to which emotion categories and cost–benefit analyses of possible subsequent actions differ across cultures and in line with enduring individual differences. To test the model, we conducted a laboratory study (N = 143) examining whether costly volunteering behavior is higher amid awe in the Czech Republic, a country where social psychological studies have often produced different results compared to the USA. Awe-inspiring and neutral primes were validated in pilot studies (N = 229). As is possible under the contextual model, awe-inspiring primes elicited not more, but less, prosocial behavior, with the relationship being moderated by various facets of Openness to Experience. Individuals higher in the Feelings facet of Openness were also found to be more awe-prone. A call is made for a cross-cultural investigation of the awe-behavior relationship that accounts for complex phylogenetic relationships between cultures.
... From James' Varieties of Religious Experience (first published in 1902) to our own day (Preston and Shin 2017), most studies of transcendence have focused on the nature and effects of experiences for the individual, with little attention to relational others. This limitation is unfortunate for family and relationship scholars. ...
... While most scholarship on transcendence has largely focused on the nature and effects of experiences for the individual (Preston and Shin 2017), we concur with the desired other-oriented outcomes of transcendence articulated by Haidt (2017), and by theologian Peter Slater (1981), who posited that, "The transcending process may begin with deficiency motivations. But it cannot end in...the private comfort of deprived egos. ...
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Research on the relationship between religion, spirituality, and health suggests that religious involvement can help people deal with various kinds of adversity. Although there has been a great deal of work on the influence of religious involvement and religious and spiritual practices on physical, mental, and relational health, there exists a gap in the theoretical and empirical literature about the potential benefits of transcendent religious experiences on marriage and family relationships. We report some findings from a study of in-depth interviews with 198 religious American exemplar families from diverse religious, ethnic, and geographic backgrounds. The religious-ethnic make-up of the sample included: African American Christian (13%), Asian Christian (12%), Catholic and Orthodox Christian (11%), White Evangelical Christian (12%), White Mainline Christian (10%), Latter-day Saint (LDS, Mormon), (14%), Jewish (16%), and Muslim (12%). Systematic group coding resulted in the findings that, during times of adversity, transcendent religious experiences reportedly (a) provided relational meaning, (b) increased relational depth, (c) healed relational hurt, and (d) encouraged relational action. We suggest implications for theory, research, clinical practice, and pastoral work.
... Furthermore, the multidimensional process found that the spiritual experiences may affect the mind health of the domestic religious tourists via experiences including the unique involvement and opportunities for eliminating the life anxieties. This part of the research is consistent with the results of Preston and Shin (2017). Mashhad is the spiritual capital of Iran and the second most populous city in the country after Tehran. ...
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This paper studies a theoretical model of moderated mediation in which religious learning assists as an intervening mechanism that explains the moderated relationships between brand image and the dimensions of travel benefits (tranquility and health). The study also considers the four dimensions of direct effects of a spiritual experience including (Sense of bliss, Elimination of the life concerns, Emotional involvement and Interaction). The results of the study of 384 religious tourists provide support for this integrated model across the dimensions of travel benefits. Furthermore, the results of the studies conducted on the domestic tourists verify this integrated model along with the dimensions of the religious travel advantages. The moderating effect of the religious learning is expected to have a positive impact of the brand image on the religious travel benefits as this learning strengthens the positive linkage. Additionally, the spiritual experiences enhance the positive effect of the religious travel benefits through the brand image. The present findings also indicate that the Religious travel benefit have direct effects on health and tranquility Variables via Brand image and religious learning. A model is implemented here in order to measure the strength of the findings and it is argued how this moderated mediation pattern could be shown using the empirical evidence of the religious beliefs concentrated on the various religious experiences of the tourists.
... Within the study of atheism, research on SREs has been particularly scarce to date (for a commentary on this topic, see Yaden, Iwry, Smith, & Pawelski, 2017). One study by Preston and Shin (2017) compared spiritual experiences in religious and nonreligious individuals, and found that both groups reported meaningful feelings of awe and 'small self' in a range of contexts (e.g., major life events, connection to nature and people, yoga/meditation, etc.), with prevalence rates varying across specific contexts. Notably, the study did not provide clear descriptions of these contexts (e.g., "peak experiences" were not defined) or distinguish between horizontal and vertical transcendence. ...
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Spiritual/religious experiences (SREs) are a hallmark of bipolar disorder (BD), and their subjective influence often persists post-episode. However, difficulty disentangling SRE meaning from illness narratives is common in BD, and can negatively impact illness coping and treatment engagement. While individuals with pre-existing spiritual/religious beliefs may benefit from access to adaptive interpretive frameworks shared by supportive social contexts, such resources are less readily available to atheists, who may be especially vulnerable to maladaptive SRE coping and outcomes. The present study aimed to understand ways in which atheist adults with BD interpret their SREs, and which coping and treatment experiences are involved. Eleven medication-adherent Canadian and U.S. adults diagnosed with BD completed semi-structured interviews. A grounded theory analysis resulted in the following themes: SRE descriptions and mental health contexts; experiences influencing SRE interpretation; SRE explanations & related views; conflicting values and beliefs; helpful conceptual approaches; (predominantly negative) sharing and help-seeking experiences; spiritual/religious coping; relapse prevention; and personal growth and wellbeing. All participants endorsed agnostic and/or spiritual/religious worldviews after their SREs. Interpretation of the results employed a cognitive approach to belief formation. The resulting middle-range theory proposes that SRE interpretation in atheists with BD is significantly influenced by cognitive dissonance between the lasting meaning/value of the SRE, acceptance of illness, and pre-existing atheist values and beliefs. Explanatory efforts may involve online and offline research, community exploration, and counselling/psychotherapy, and may be influenced by social pressures (e.g., effects of stigma, marginalization); consequences for self-esteem (e.g., internalized stigma, self-enhancing beliefs); existential concerns (e.g., coping with mortality); and mood fluctuations. Hybrid biomedical–spiritual/religious explanatory models may be common in this group, serving to reconcile SRE meaning/value with illness acceptance and pre-existing atheist values. Residual uncertainty, which can be persistent and pervasive, may be managed using various cognitive and behavioural strategies. Clinical implications of the findings are examined and support a range of recommendations for clinical practice in assessment and treatment with this population. The study’s key contributions, limitations, and recommendations for future research are discussed, followed by some reflections from the researcher.
... When it comes to social class, a study found that individuals from higher classes reported less frequently experiencing awe compared to individuals from lower social classes (Piff & Moskowitz, 2017). Regarding the religion, one study found that not only religious but also non-religious individuals report experiencing awe; however, religious one mentions explicitly religious or life-or-death events while non-religious one talks about the wonder of nature (Preston & Shin, 2017). In another case, during a simulation of viewing Earth from the space, the individuals who experienced awe were non-religious (Reinerman-Jones, Sollins, Gallagher, & Janz, 2013). ...
Article
Dijitalleşme, modern yaşam ve gelişmelere olan yoğun bağımlılığın bir sonucu olarak insan hayatı, insanlıkla ve maneviyatla bağlarını kaybetme tehlikesiyle karşı karşıyadır. Bunun muhtemel bir çözümü, Büyük Kanyon’un enginliğine veya yüzlerce yıldızla dolu bir gökyüzüne tanık olmak veya mistik bir deneyim yaşamak gibi örneklerle açıklanabilecek, hayret ve hayranlığın duygusal bir algısı olan awe duygusunun beslenmesidir. Bu çalışmada öncelikle alan yazın titizlikle taranmış ve awe üzerine yapılan araştırmalar bu duygunun ne olduğu, formülasyonu, felsefesi çerçevesinde derlenmiştir. Daha sonra awenin Varoluşçu ve Transpersonel psikolojideki kullanım alanları verilmiş ve ayrıca hastalarda bu duyguyu güçlendirebilecek terapi önerileri de sunulmuştur. Sonuç olarak awenin halk sağlığının yükseltilmesi ve yaşam doyumunun yükseltilmesine yönelik tedavilerde daha fazla kullanılması gerektiğine inanıyoruz.
... Ryan & Deci, 2017). Finally, the effect of emotion on spiritual awareness can be contextualized with realizations of wrongdoing within an individual, which can be attributed to a balancing act of the self through a spiritual experience (Preston & Shin, 2017). The role of argument quality (AQ) towards the attitude is also being observed to be significant across all the VS value dimensions. ...
Article
Engagement in Voluntary Simplicity behaviour can be strongly attributed to contributing towards environmental protection through consumption reduction. The attitudinal inclination towards adopting VS values has mostly been observed on the degree of awareness and current behaviour of individuals. However similar to sustainability practices, VS adoption can also be instigated through external influences. In the present study, a pioneer effort is being undertaken to observe the degree of persuasive intent that can be created through the intervention of anticipatory guilt, argument quality, and source credibility manipulation. The sample was drawn from the Malaysian youth population using the multi-stage cluster sampling method. The result of ANCOVA analysis shows significant direct effects on each of the VS values namely material simplicity, social responsibility, self-sufficiency, and spiritual growth. We also found strong interaction effects of anticipatory guilt and argument quality at high and low intervention levels towards youth attitude.
... Nature can be considered a prototypical inducer of awe (Bethelmy & Corraliza, 2019;Keltner & Haidt, 2003;Shiota, Keltner, & Mossman, 2007), and nature-based settings appear to trigger awe more reliably than built environments (Ballew & Omoto, 2018). Awe is associated with spiritual experiences and feelings (Hu, Yang, Jing, & Nguyen, 2018;Kearns & Tyler, 2020;Preston & Shin, 2017;Van Cappellen & Saroglou, 2012) and a state of profound awe has been associated with the mystical experiences occasioned by psychedelics (Hendricks, 2018). Feelings of interconnectedness are another core facet of the mystical experience (Barrett & Griffiths, 2018;MacLean et al., 2011). ...
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Mystical experiences are often described as being among the most profound and meaningful events of a person’s life. Their occurrence, while a normal but uncommon phenomenon, is reliably occasioned by psychedelic substances under the appropriate conditions, although care is needed around the context of usage to help ensure safe and beneficial experiences. The occurrence of mystical experiences in psychedelic sessions is a key mediator of the sustained psychological benefits reported in both healthy and clinical populations. Certain factors including set and setting, drug dosage, trait absorption, drug type, intention and states of surrender and acceptance all predict or influence the occurrence of mystical experiences. Various additional factors may further contribute to the occurrence and intensity of mystical experiences and enhance their long-term benefits, including music, meditation and spiritual practices and nature-based settings. This review examines these factors and considers how they might be optimised to increase the chances of a mystical experience occurring, while also considering factors that are negatively associated with mystical experiences with suggestions on how these might be mitigated where applicable. Finally, potential future research avenues for furthering our knowledge of psychedelic mystical experiences and how their benefits might be enhanced is suggested. Maximising the potential for the occurrence of mystical experiences is an important aspect of the beneficial application of psychedelics.
... Psychologically, non-belief appears to be more than just an ‗absence' of belief. Non-belief (at least partially) constitutes or involves a distinct ideology, with psychological costs and benefits comparable to religious belief (Galen, 2015;Galen & Kloet, 2011;Preston & Shin, 2017). However, the origin of and psychological processes underlying individual differences in non-belief remain unclear. ...
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Atheism and agnosticism are becoming increasingly popular, yet the neural processes underpinning individual differences in religious belief and non-belief remain poorly understood. In the current study, we examined differences between Believers and Non-Believers with regard to fundamental neural resting networks using EEG microstate analysis. Results demonstrated that Non-Believers show increased contribution from a resting-state network associated with deliberative or analytic processing (Microstate D), and Believers show increased contribution from a network associated with intuitive or automatic processing (Microstate C). Further, analysis of resting-state network communication suggested that Non-Believers may process visual information in a more deliberative or top-down manner, and Believers may process visual information in a more intuitive or bottom-up manner. These results support dual process explanations of individual differences in religious belief and add to the representation of non-belief as more than merely a lack of belief.
... Regarding the appeal of the spiritual stimuli, (a) the Connection ad offered online spiritual guidance (without the presence of God) to facilitate connection with one's inner self, thereby bringing meaning and purpose to the recipient's life, and (b) the visuals made implicit references to yoga, meditation, and nature (i.e., background of sunset over ocean) that viewers might have perceived as rational ways to enhance well-being during the pandemic. During times of stress and anxiety, the religious rely on their faith and beliefs, while the nonreligious tend to have a scientific worldview, deriving spiritual experiences from nature, science, peak experiences (e.g., riding a motorcycle), and yoga/meditation (Preston and Shin 2017). The impact of spiritual cues on the nonreligious not only distinguishes spirituality from religion but also suggests how advertisers might use spirituality as a form of persuasion. ...
Article
During times of distress, people tend to seek religious or spiritual guidance as a coping mechanism. COVID-19 brought much uncertainty into the lives of people across the world, providing a unique window into the various constructs and individual preferences related to religion and spirituality. While previous findings focus on the importance of religious cues and religiosity in advertising, scholars have not paid much attention to spirituality. A growing number of Americans do not identify with any religion, and studies about the nonreligious, especially atheists and agnostics, are relatively scant. Therefore, the aim of the current study, grounded in congruity theory and cue utilization theory, was to align ad orientation (religious versus spiritual) with individual life orientation (religious versus nonreligious) to explore the impact of these relationships on advertising effectiveness. Findings show that Christians had strong and favorable attitudes toward both the religious and spiritual ads but stronger intention to learn more about the brand only after exposure to the religious ad. In contrast, nonreligious participants had significantly more favorable attitudes and higher intention after exposure to the spiritual ad (versus religious ad). These findings contribute to an initial theoretical understanding of these two groups, with important implications for advertisers.
... However, their measure of spirituality contained no references to God or the supernatural, and some nonbelievers do self-identify with nontheistic spirituality (e.g. [15], [70]). In a representative sample of fulltime professors, Gross and Simmons reported that 75% believed in God or a higher power and 23% were atheist or agnostic [36]. ...
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The religiosity of academics has been studied for over a decade. With few exceptions, this research has been conducted on American “elite” scientists, and data from non-Western countries is lacking. Drawing from psychological and sociological literature, the present exploratory study investigates the religiosity of Turkish academics (N = 361) and their perceptions on the relationship between religion and science, and associated variables such as interpretation of the Quran, and belief in evolution and creationism. Moreover, we address criticism directed at previous research by probing for different God concepts among believing academics. Although cultural differences can be identified, the results generally support the idea that academics are less religious with 54% identifying as “less religious” or “not religious,” compared to 24.2% self-identifying as “religious” or “extremely religious.”
... As an additional consequence of the feeling of self-diminishment, awe may also induce humility through encounters with something larger than oneself, vast, and that challenges one's worldview (Stellar et al., 2018). Feelings of spiritual humility, for religious participants, and intellectual humility, for non-religious participants, was observed following recall of a spiritual experience (Preston & Shin, 2017). ...
Article
This capstone seeks to explore the complex emotion of awe and the effects of flow and anxiety on the experience of awe in scuba diving. Scuba diving is a strong elicitor of awe and is a challenging, high risk activity requiring both technical skill and a calm mind. In this mixed methods study, awe elicited by scuba diving was studied immediately following a scuba dive (Study 1) and via the internet through recollection tasks (Study 2). Results of Study 1 indicate that in the context of scuba diving, flow is correlated with the connectedness component of awe. Results of Study 2 indicate that when scuba diving experiences are recalled using a writing task (1) awe is experienced differently based on context, (2) flow is correlated with Composite Awe and negatively correlated with anxiety, (3) flow is correlated with the vastness, altered time perception and connectedness components of awe, when recalling a positive dive experience, and (4) anxiety is correlated with the small-self and accommodation components of awe when recalling a negative dive experience. This study reveals additional complexity in the study of awe, leads to further understanding of the subcomponents of the experience of awe, and provides evidence that in the experience of awe – context matters.
... Differences in Western and Eastern perspective are said to influence the way in which people perceive awe. While narrating a spiritual experience, a study by Preston & Shin (2017), found that experiences of awe and small self are felt by both religious and non-religious people. ...
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This is a conceptual paper exploring the emotion of awe. It is one of the most complex and powerful emotion of wonder or amazement experienced when we perceive something vast and it initiates a need for accommodation. Exploring awe as emotion is important as it is more than any other emotion. Awe has the ability to conjure cognitive accommodation. The emotion of awe inspires us to embrace new ideas and information and in cognitive restructuring. Traditionally our ancestors have been considered awe as religious or spiritual emotion, but studies reveal, awe may be closely related to theoretical advances and scientific uncovering. Awe can be explored in different flavors also.
... Though it is complex and sometimes can be colored by appraisals of threat, it enjoys positive or self-transcendent character. It can broaden and build the mindset of individuals and resources , enable them to gain a spiritual perspective on their life (Preston and Shin, 2016), and encourage people to transcend their own needs and desires (Jiang et al., 2018). Dispositional awe belongs to self-transcendent experience, but it differs from Cloninger's self-transcendence (1993), for it only involves the disposition or the tendency in the type of self-transcendent emotion rather than the comprehensive components of personality, temperament, and character (Cloninger, 1993). ...
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Dispositional awe has a positive effect on prosociality. However, it has not been tested whether this disposition appears in online altruism. Using a large sample of 3,080 Chinese undergraduates, this study tested a moderated mediating model that takes self-transcendent meaning in life (STML) as a mediator and subjective socioeconomic status (SSES) as a moderator. As predicted, dispositional awe was positively correlated with online altruism, partly via the indirect effect of STML. SSES moderated both the direct and indirect effects. Specifically, the predictive effects of dispositional awe on both online prosocial behavior and STML were greater for lower rather than higher SSES. This study extends the prosociality of dispositional awe to cyberspace. Other implications are also discussed herein.
... Understanding IH and EI in a combination of interdisciplinary studies is a relatively new effort. Several studies have attempted to examine this relationship such as the admission of wrongness (Fetterman, Curtis, Carre, & Sassenberg, 2019), win by cheating: achievement goal approach (Van Yperen, Hamstra, & Van Der Klauw, 2011), religious teachings as specific views with humility (Hoyle et al., 2016), spiritual awfulness linked to happiness and positive emotions (Preston & Shin, 2017), and emotions and faith development (Wrench et al., 2020). Such studies illustrated the increasing attention paid to the relationship between emotions and humility. ...
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This article is the result of our research in the scope of higher education. This research seeks to understand the effect of EI and IH on academic achievement as well as making a contribution to an understanding of their subscales. In the current development, there has not been a single, and specified standard of EI measurement. It might indicate the complexity of how emotions are clearly and well understood. The results of this research indicated religious factors as one of the factors that influence the achievement of academic success, especially concerning the difficulties and challenges the students coped with. To understand more clearly, we present IH as a comparison variable. Based on the results of this study, we suggest emotional variables that already exist and may be used as a reference measure. In our educational context, emotions are considered as being sacred for associating with teleological and theological meaning. In our opinion, both IH and EI play interplay roles because they are organized responses involving physical changes, felt experiences, cognitions, and action plans — all with reliable evaluative components.
... Next to measuring the effects of psilocybin microdosing on awe we also assessed participants' implicit perception of their body. In previous studies it has been found that feelings of awe are characterized by the experience of a small self (Bai et al. 2017;Piff et al. 2015;Preston and Shin 2017). For instance, when prompted with a pictorial representation of their body, after watching an awe video participants indicated that the size of their body was smaller, compared to watching a control video (van Elk et al. 2016). ...
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There is an increased societal trend to engage in microdosing, in which small sub-hallucinogenic amounts of psychedelics are consumed on a regular basis. Following subjective reports that microdosing enhances the experience of nature and art, in the present study we set out to study the effects of psilocybin microdosing on feelings of awe and art perception. In this preregistered combined field- and lab-based study, participants took part in a microdosing workshop after which they volunteered to self-administer a psilocybin microdose or a placebo for three consecutive weeks, while the condition was kept blind to the participants and researchers. Following a 2-week break, the condition assignment was reversed. During each block, participants visited the lab twice to measure the effects of psilocybin microdosing vs. placebo. We used standardized measures of awe, in which participants reported their experiences in response to short videos or when viewing abstract artworks from different painters. Our confirmatory analyses showed that participants felt more awe in response to videos representing funny animals and moving objects in the microdosing compared to the placebo condition. However, about two-third of our participants were breaking blind to their experimental condition. Our exploratory findings suggest that expectancy-effects may be a driving factor underlying the subjective benefits of microdosing.
... Feelings of awe can challenge the current worldview of perceivers and help them view themselves and the world in a different manner. A large body of studies have shown that participants experiencing awe can feel small, insignificant, and humbled [17,20,33,[62][63][64][65][66]. Compared with participants under other positive emotion conditions, participants under the awe condition present a balanced view of their strengths and weaknesses and admit the contribution of external factors to their personal achievements to a large extent [4]. ...
... For example, MM can occasion nonordinary state experiences that resemble those commonly associated with high dose psychedelics, including reports of Oceanic Boundlessness 13,60 and feelings of awe and wonder. 95,96 Indeed, MM aims to explicitly cultivate the capacity for these experiences. 97 Well-supported psychedelic experiences are often psychotherapeutically dense, efficient, and useful. ...
Article
Psychedelic and mindfulness interventions have been shown to improve mental ill-health and wellbeing, with a range of clinical processes and effects in common. However, each appear to contain specific challenges in the context of mental health treatment. In this Perspective, we focus on a set of distinct affordances, “useful differences”, within psychedelic and mindfulness interventions that might address common challenges within the other intervention. Accordingly, we propose a set of applied synergies, indicating specific ways in which these two promising interventions might be combined for greater benefit. Metaphorically, on the journey toward mental health and wellbeing, we propose that psychedelic treatments may serve the role of Compass (initiating, motivating, and steering the course of mindfulness practice), with mindfulness interventions serving the role of Vehicle (integrating, deepening, generalizing, and maintaining the novel perspectives and motivation instigated by psychedelic experience). We outline a set of testable hypotheses and future research associated with the synergistic action of psychedelic and mindfulness interventions toward improved clinical outcomes.
... Religiosity and religious commitment were also associated with gratitude (Aghababaei et al. 2018;Rosmarin et al. 2011). Recalling spiritual experiences enhanced feelings of awe, small self, and spiritual humility (Preston and Shin 2017). ...
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Previous studies have reported that religious words and religiosity affect mental processes and behaviors. However, it is unclear what psycholinguistic features of religious words (e.g., familiarity, imageability, and emotional aspects) are associated with each dimension of personal religiosity (intellect, ideology, public practice, private practice, and experience). The purpose of this study was to examine whether and how the above-mentioned psycholinguistic features of religious words correlate with each of the core dimensions of religiosity. Japanese participants evaluated four psycholinguistic features of twelve religious words using a 5-point Semantic Differential scale for familiarity and imageability and a 9-point Self-Assessment Manikin (SAM) scale for emotional valence and emotional arousal. The participants also rated their own religiosity using the Japanese version of the Centrality of Religiosity Scale (JCRS). The results of the study revealed that (1) the scales measuring the psycholinguistic features of religious words were statistically reliable; (2) the JCRS was reliable; (3) the familiarity, emotional valence, and emotional arousal of religious words and each mean dimensional score of the JCRS score correlated positively with each other; and (4) highly religious people had higher familiarity and higher emotional arousal to religious words than non-religious people, whereas highly religious people had higher emotional valence to religious words in comparison with non-religious and religious people. In addition, religious people had higher familiarity to religious words than non-religious people. Taken together, these findings suggest that psycholinguistic features of religious words contribute to the detection of religiosity.
... Perception of fractal patterns is also commonly associated with the visual imagery elicited by psychedelics (Klüver, 1966;Varley et al., 2020). Awe is deeply tied to feelings of spirituality (Hu et al., 2018;Kearns and Tyler, 2020;Preston and Shin, 2017;Van Cappellen and Saroglou, 2012), and spirituality and nature relatedness appear to be strongly linked (de Jager Meezenbroek et al., 2012;Dömötör et al., 2017;Saraglou et al., 2008;Trigwell et al., 2014). Spirituality can act as a mediator between nature relatedness and contact with nature and psychological well-being (Kamitsis and Francis, 2013;Knepple Carney and Patrick, 2016;Trigwell et al., 2014). ...
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Therapeutic psychedelic administration and contact with nature have been associated with the same psychological mechanisms: decreased rumination and negative affect, enhanced psychological connectedness and mindfulness-related capacities, and heightened states of awe and transcendent experiences, all processes linked to improvements in mental health amongst clinical and healthy populations. Nature-based settings can have inherently psychologically soothing properties which may complement all stages of psychedelic therapy (mainly preparation and integration) whilst potentiating increases in nature relatedness, with associated psychological benefits. Maximising enhancement of nature relatedness through therapeutic psychedelic administration may constitute an independent and complementary pathway towards improvements in mental health that can be elicited by psychedelics.
... Mrdjenovich claims data saturation was achieved, which is a believable, albeit unremarkable claim. Mrdjenovich notes that collecting data from atheists is difficult, but then in a stroke of irony, dismisses the utility of survey data despite it showing promise in addressing that very issue (e.g., Farias et al. 2018;Preston and Shin 2017;Price and Launay 2018;Silver et al. 2014). Rather than completing the admittedly more difficult task of collecting primary data or using researchers' existing data on the subject, Mrdjenovich is attempting to answer a large and important question by fishing in a puddle instead of a sea. ...
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The article, “Religiously/Spiritually Involved, but in Doubt or Disbelief—Why? Healthy?” (Mrdjenovich in J Relig Health. 10.1007/s10943-018-0711-2, 2018) addressed why subsets of Nones would engage in religious activities. While the subject matter of Mrdjenovich’s work is important and understudied, several problematic conclusions about the nonreligion-health field were drawn. We provide constructive criticisms of Mrdjenovich’s methodologies, conclusions, and characterizations of the nonreligion-health field, and offer several solutions to the problems identified.
... The interpretation, as well as the stimulus of this special connection varies depending on one's belief system. In one study, participants were asked to recall a time when they felt strong feelings of spirituality: deeply connected and with a feeling of the deep meaning in life [12]. After recalling this, both religious and nonreligious participants felt feelings of awe and feeling small. ...
Article
“Spiritual but not religious” appears to be an increasingly popular self-designation for individuals asked about their religious affiliation. We review scientific literature that helps to unpackage the meaning of the phrase, from conceptual to empirical analyses. Evident is much diversity and ambiguity in how individuals understand the designation and their motivations for using it. Use of the designation appears to have some confound with demographic and cultural background factors. Empirical research does indicate a detectable clear divergence between conventionally religious and mystical tendencies, at least in Western populations that have been the focus of most investigations. But the mystical tendencies that may serve to separate spirituality from religion appear to be themselves heterogeneous, and not necessarily reducible to one disposition.
... For example, Chirico et al. (2017) found that participants reported experiencing the most awe when watching potentially awe-provocative stimuli (e.g., mountain scape) in comparison with more neutral (e.g., meadow) stimuli in VR (three-dimensional) versus normal viewing (two-dimensional) conditions. Further, Preston and Shin (2017) demonstrated through a set of studies how spiritual experiences such as meditation can also be awe-provoking by inducing a sense of being small relative to something more vast (ex. a Higher Power), consistent with principles described by Keltner and Haidt (2003) that hypothesize that vast stimuli rich in sensory information (e.g., natural wonders, panoramic views, and other things of beauty) are required to reliably invoke feelings of awe. ...
Article
Objective: We investigate the potential therapeutic application of virtual reality (VR) technology as an aid to meditation practice among persons varying in posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms. Method: In this within-group mixed-methods study, 96 young adults practiced both VR- and non-VR-guided meditations and reported on their experience of positive affect (PA), negative affect (NA), other meditative experiences and perceived satisfaction-credibility of each meditation. Results: Participants reported more PA and greater perceived satisfaction-credibility following the VR as compared to non-VR-guided meditations primarily when the VR meditation was practiced first, before the non-VR meditation, as opposed to vice versa. The experience of NA during meditation practice was infrequent, although persons with increased PTSD symptoms reported increased distress during both VR and non-VR meditation. Conclusions: Further study of therapeutic applications of VR as an aid to meditation practice among people with PTSD symptoms is warranted. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved).
... Many studies suggest that the spiritual dimension is an integral part of life of both religious and non-religious people (Baldacchino, 2008). Many non-religious individuals report spiritual experiences (Preston and Shin, 2017;van Nieuw Amerongen-Meeuse et al., 2020), such as experience of spiritual strength, meaning of life and inner peace (O'Connell and Skevington, 2005). This also means that every person can, to a certain degree, experience spiritual struggles. ...
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Childhood trauma is associated with many interpersonal and psychosocial problems in adulthood. The aim of this study was to explore the associations with a spiritual area of personality, namely religious and spiritual struggles (R/S struggles). A nationally representative sample of 1,000 Czech respondents aged 15 years and older participated in the survey. All types of CT were associated with an increased level of all six types of R/S struggles, with the highest values for demonic struggles. Thus, the findings of this study might be important for clinical practice and pastoral care as well as a further research.
... Studies of the U.S. population demonstrate a pattern of salutary effect between multiple dimensions of religion/spirituality (R/S) and psychological well-being (Ellison & Hummer, 2010; H. Koenig et al., 2012;Rew & Wong, 2006;Schieman et al., 2013;VanderWeele, 2017a) including religious commitment and identity (Eliassen et al., 2005;Green & Elliott, 2010;Greenfield et al., 2009), organizational and non-organizational practices (Bradshaw and Ellison 2010;Strawbridge et al. 2001), congregational support (Krause et al., 2001), and R/S coping behaviors (Ano & Vasconcelles, 2005;Carpenter et al., 2012). Recent studies extend this line of inquiry by investigating the potential mental health benefits of subjective and perceptual aspects of religion/spirituality, including daily spiritual experiences (DSE) (Preston & Shin, 2017;Underwood, 2011). Elsewhere, R/S have been shown to buffer the negative relationship between stress and mental health, presumably through religious coping and social support (Davis et al., 2008;Dein et al., 2012). ...
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Much of the survey research on religion/spirituality and mental health in the U.S. must be assumed to capture stable respondent traits when it is possible temporary states are actually being recorded. The smartphone-based experience sampling method (ESM) in the SoulPulse Study, which collected data twice a day for two weeks, allows an opportunity to examine this problem further by assessing state (single moment) and trait (two-week average) scores of daily spiritual experiences (DSE) as moderators of a daily stressor checklist, depressive symptoms, and flourishing (a well-being indicator that addresses happiness, life satisfaction, meaning and purpose, virtue, close social relationships, etc.). Findings indicate robust direct associations between stressors, DSE, and well-being, as well as substantial support for the moderating role of state and trait daily spiritual experiences. The study: 1) demonstrates that DSE may serve as a buffer against daily stressors at both the trait and state levels, 2) provides further evidence for flourishing as a holistic indicator of well-being, and 3) indicates that ESM methodologies can add to our understanding of human well-being.
... Although the terms spirituality and religion have and continue to be used synonymously, many scholars discern the two (Rambo & Haar Farris, 2012). Most frequently, spirituality is used to describe an intrinsic, autonomous, and subjective sense of transcendence or connection with a higher power or being, whereas religion denotes adherence to a social institution, often involving a more secular, doctrinal, and traditional form of authority (Preston & Shin, 2017). This differentiation is important: although research indicates that prior religious and/or spiritual beliefs and affiliation do not influence whether specific NDE features occur or are interpreted in religious and/or spiritual ways , findings indicate many NDErs distinguish between religion and spirituality when describing post-NDE transformations. ...
Chapter
Near-death experiences (NDEs) have been reported across time and cultures and more recently with increased frequency, in part due to improved survival rates from near-fatal encounters. As anomalous psychological phenomena often occurring in near-death situations, NDEs represent a radical departure from everyday normative experiences and are typically characterized by their transcendence of space, time, and perceptual boundaries. Although consensus regarding a definition of NDEs is yet to be achieved, less disputed is the profound impact such experiences effect in the lives of those who have them, particularly in regard to notions of religiosity and spirituality. This chapter will consider NDEs and their influence. After defining NDEs, considering causal explanations, and identifying cultural and motivational factors influencing the social reporting of NDEs, the chapter will explore the impact of NDEs on religious faith and spirituality and provide some explanatory propositions for reflection.
... Experts believe that beliefs and spirituality are more common among older people than other age groups and as they become older, considering spirituality and paying attention to it will be a stronger predictor of greater health, happiness, and life satisfaction [17]. Spiritual practices provide emotional meaning and support for older people [18]. Spiritual practices or religious handling act as an important defense mechanism against risk factors associated with clinical symptoms such as depression, especially in older people [19]. ...
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Background: The aging population is undoubtedly an optimum success created by changes in mortality decline, as well as social and economic processes. Objectives: The aim of this paper is to investigate the relationship between personality-based psychological well-being variables and the mediation of self-care, spiritual experiences, and death anxiety. Materials and Methods: The statistical population of the present correlational study included all elderly individuals, who were being taken care of in private and public centers in Tehran, Iran, from 2017 to 2018. A total of 300 elderly people (76 males and 224 females) were selected by the systematic stratified random sampling method. Ryff’s psychological well-being inventory, daily spiritual experiences scale, and NEO five-factor personality traits inventory were used to collect the data. The data were analyzed by SPSS V. 22 and Amos 22, using multiple regression, path analysis, and structural equation modeling. Results: Personality variables (five-factor) predicted psychological well-being. Personality variables both directly and indirectly had a significant relationship with psychological well-being through spirituality and death anxiety. Conclusion: The predictive model of elderly psychological well-being based on personality with the mediation of self-care, spiritual experiences, and death anxiety has fitness.
... In previous studies, we found that participants perceive themselves to be smaller during awe experiences (van Elk, Karinen, Specker, Stamkou, & Baas, 2016) and that awe experiences are characterized by a reduced focus on the self (van Elk, Gomez, van der Zwaag, van Schie, & Sauter, 2019). Awe is also considered a spiritual or self-transcendent emotion, as it seems to trigger spiritual intentions (Van Cappellen & Saroglou, 2012) and spiritual experiences are often considered awe-inducing (Preston & Shin, 2017). However, most studies on awe have used self-report measures, which are prone to all types of demand-and expectancy-effects. ...
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Despite recent developments to improve the transparency of scientific research, the field is in need of a new and effective way to communicate non-significant or unpublished findings to a broader audience. In this short report, I present an overview of different unpublished studies that we conducted in my lab over the past years. Across the different studies we observed consistent effects of our experimental manipulations or variables of interest on self-report measures, but less so on behavioral and neurocognitive measures. For instance, religious people said they were more prosocial but did not donate more money (Study 1 and 2); participants experienced awe but this did not affect their body and self perception (Study 6 and 7); participants had mystical-like experiences but this did not affect the perception of their peripersonal space (Study 8 and 9); and self-reported magical thinking was unrelated to superstitious behavior (Study 11). In other studies, the hypothesized effects did not bear out as expected or were even in an unexpected direction. Participants perceived more agency in threatening pictures and scenarios, but this was not related to their supernatural beliefs (Study 3–5) and a death priming manipulation reduced rather than increased participants’ religiosity (Study 10). Thus, opening the filedrawer through the publication of short reports will hopefully further increase transparency and will help other researchers to learn from our own trials and errors.
Article
The antecedents of socially responsible consumption have been increasingly discussed in the field of consumer ethics theory. However, the potential emotional factors influencing socially responsible consumers are less researched. To fill this gap, our study introduces a specific emotional disposition – dispositional awe – to the research literature on socially responsible consumption and further proposes that a fundamental psychological need – meaning in life – could explain the enhancing effect of dispositional awe on socially responsible consumption. Through a series of analysis, including confirmatory factor analysis (CFA), structural equation modeling (SEM), and moderated mediation analysis, we confirm that dispositional awe could enhance personal meaning in life, which in turn affects the socially responsible consumption of consumers. Materialism plays a moderating role in these causal links. Our study contributes to enhance knowledge about socially responsible consumption and provides a new direction to guide consumer behavior in marketing context.
Article
Research on intellectual humility has accumulated rapidly. In this content analysis, we review existing published empirical work. We conducted searches using Google Scholar, ProQuest, and PsycInfo and found 59 articles with 134 samples. Most studies have focused on convenience samples and used similar measurement approaches – self-reports of intellectual humility. Nonetheless, some teams are beginning to move towards methods that can test causal implications of evolving theory, such as experimental methods or longitudinal studies. Furthermore, although most studies have focused on measurement issues, some scholars are beginning to venture out into applied work on intellectual humility. At least initially, researchers are gravitating towards areas where cultural ideology and commitment-related biases might put pressure on individuals to prioritize loyalty over truth seeking. Implications for future research are discussed.
Article
A meta-analytic review of studies that experimentally elicited awe and compared the emotion to other conditions (84; 487 effects; 17,801 participants) examined the degree to which experimentally elicited awe (1) affects outcomes relative to other positive emotions (2) affects experience, judgment, behaviour, and physiology, and (3) differs in its effects if the awe state was elicited through positive or threatening contexts. The efficacy of methods that have been used to experimentally elicit awe and the possibility of assessing changes in the state of the self with experimental awe elicitations were also examined. Meta-analyses with robust variance estimation revealed that awe affected outcomes compared to other positive emotions and control conditions; affected experience, judgment, and behaviour; and had similar effects if elicited through positive or threatening contexts. The ability to compare awe to negative emotion states and its effects on physiology was limited by a small number of available effects. Images, videos, autobiographical recall, and naturalistic exposure were effective in eliciting awe. Exploratory analyses suggested that some processes involved in changes in the self can be related to experimental awe elicitations. These findings suggest awe is a discrete emotion and identifies areas for future investigation.
Article
Despite growing interest in the “small self”, there is little clarity about what it means and how it should be measured. Three studies (N=922) identified three constructs: (1) self-size (metaphorical experiences of smallness), (2) vastness relative to the self (feeling the presence of something bigger than the self) and (3) self-perspective (feeling as though one’s day-to-day concerns are trivial in the big picture). Each dimension had a distinct psychological signature: self-perspective was associated with less ethical decision-making, perceived self-size shared negative correlations with self-esteem and collective identification, and vastness relative to the self was associated with high levels of self-esteem and collective identification. The data suggest that awareness of vaster forces represents psychological expansion (rather than shrinking) of the self.
Article
Self‐transcendent emotions are positive emotions that arise out of other‐focused appraisals. These emotions shift attention from the self to the needs and concerns of others. Limited work, however, focuses on self‐transcendent emotions and the underlying cognitive and behavioural mechanisms by which they benefit organizations. We review the disparate streams of research on self‐transcendent emotions and detail the thought‐action repertoires of four self‐transcendent emotions (compassion, gratitude, inspiration, and awe), explaining how each contributes to effective organizational functioning. Central to achieving this aim is the broaden‐and‐build theory. We show how the four self‐transcendent emotions broaden cognitive processes and build the necessary resources leading to specific positive organizational outcomes. We conclude our review with four themes: (a) the importance of delineating levels of analysis in self‐transcendent emotion research, (b) acknowledging contextual and cross‐cultural differences shaping the experience of self‐transcendent emotions, (c) addressing measurement concerns, and (d) the examination of other self‐transcendent emotions. In effect, we synthesize the positive psychology and organizational behaviour literature, generating a framework that prompts theoretical and practical considerations for the role of self‐transcendent emotions in organizations.
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In a time of societal acrimony, psychological scientists have turned to a possible antidote — intellectual humility. Interest in intellectual humility comes from diverse research areas, including researchers studying leadership and organizational behaviour, personality science, positive psychology, judgement and decision-making, education, culture, and intergroup and interpersonal relationships. In this Review, we synthesize empirical approaches to the study of intellectual humility. We critically examine diverse approaches to defining and measuring intellectual humility and identify the common element: a meta-cognitive ability to recognize the limitations of one’s beliefs and knowledge. After reviewing the validity of different measurement approaches, we highlight factors that influence intellectual humility, from relationship security to social coordination. Furthermore, we review empirical evidence concerning the benefits and drawbacks of intellectual humility for personal decision-making, interpersonal relationships, scientific enterprise and society writ large. We conclude by outlining initial attempts to boost intellectual humility, foreshadowing possible scalable interventions that can turn intellectual humility into a core interpersonal, institutional and cultural value. Intellectual humility involves acknowledging the limitations of one’s knowledge and that one’s beliefs might be incorrect. In this Review, Porter and colleagues synthesize concepts of intellectual humility across fields and describe the complex interplay between intellectual humility and related individual and societal factors.
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Introduction: Menopausal women experience a number of symptoms called menopausal syndrome. Previous study) states that menopausal syndrome in women in Europe reaches 70-80%, Americans 60%, Malaysia 57%, China 18%, Japan and in Indonesia 10%. The prevalence and severity of menopausal syndrome in Asia show lower rates than women in Western. Another study states, high spiritual well-being can provide adaptive coping and contribute to reducing menopausal symptoms. Studies on the relationship between the spiritual level of menopausal women and menopausal syndrome in rural areas are still limited. The study aims to determine the relationship of spirituality levels with menopausal syndrome in rural area. Method: This study is correlation research with cross sectional approach. Number of samples is 207 women. The sampling technique used stratified random sampling. The research was conducted in Tangkisan Village, Tawangsari District, Sukoharjo Regency. Instruments used in this study is Spiritual Well-Being Scale (SWBS) to measure spirituality levels and Menopausal Rating Scale (MRS) to determain the level of menopausal syndrome. The quesionnare distributed online by whatsapp.using google form. Data analysis using using Spearman rank test. Result: The analysis showed that there was a significant relationship between the level of spirituality with menopausal syndrome in women with a correlation value of -0,300 and p value ≤ 0,05.Conclusion: A high level of spirituality reduced menopausal syndrome. Menopausal women are expected to prepare and improve their spirituality to be more ready to undergo menopause.
Preprint
Right-wing authoritarianism (RWA) consists of two factors: authoritarianism—the tendency to venerate and submit to established authorities—and conventionalism—the propensity to protect traditional values. By focusing on ancestor and nature worship in Japan, this study highlighted the construct of RWA in terms of two aspects of spirituality: feelings of respect for and connectedness to higher order entities, and feelings of universality and oneness with others. Study 1 (cross-sectional) indicated that the tendencies of ancestor worship predicted higher levels of authoritarianism, while those of nature worship predicted lower levels of conventionalism, even when controlling for general attitudes toward religious symbols. Study 2 (experimental) showed that while the recollection of spiritual experiences did not directly affect RWA, indirect routes via feelings of spirituality existed. Specifically, the recollection of an ancestor worship experience increased feelings of respect/connectedness for ancestors, which were related to higher levels of authoritarianism, and that of a nature worship experience increased feelings of universality/oneness under nature, which were associated with lower levels of conventionalism. These results provide a more nuanced understanding of RWA through demonstrating that RWA might be specifically associated with these two aspects of spirituality.
Article
We hypothesized that a shift from the body/self-consciousness matrix to a larger consciousness matrix, in which individuals perceive they belong to and are part of a larger life system, would lead to both a self-transcendence experience and positive transcendent emotions. In three studies, we experimentally exposed participants to macroscopic scenes of the earth from space and of various objects of the universe or to microscopic scenes about the inner workings of the human body. These conditions were compared to various control conditions depicting scenes of typical mesoscopic environments. All constructs were assessed using self-report measures. As predicted, a transient mental state marked by decreased self-salience, increased feelings of oneness, and transcendent emotions, such as awe, was consistently found to be significantly greater in the experimental conditions, in which the physical frame of reference (PFR) was changed, than in the control condition. Study 3 provides support for a sequential mediation model in which the changes in the scale of the PFR (i.e., vastness and smallness of the self) lead to a reduction in the body self (i.e., body loss) that mediates the effects of the experimental manipulation on self-transcendence. These results provide valuable directions for the study of self-transcendence.
Chapter
The rise of the “nones”—individuals who are variously nonreligious—has recently piqued the interest of social scientists, not least because levels of secularization in the United States seem to now be catching up to those in Western Europe. The study of the nonreligious, though, can sometimes seem like the study of people who do not play ball, as terms like nonreligious, atheist, and agnostic are defined in terms of absence. The consequent methodological assumption is that measures of nonreligiosity are simply reverse-scored measures of religiosity. This assumption, however, oversimplifies the phenomenon. Like religiosity, nonreligiosity is a multidimensional phenomenon. Just as there are different religious orientations—intrinsic, extrinsic, quest, fundamentalist, and so forth—there are also different ways of being nonreligious. Just as there are multiple routes to religion, so it is for nonreligion. And just as there are religious interpretations of human experiences, there are nonreligious experiences of awe and value and meaning. In this chapter, we consider the conceptual issues involved in the measurement of nonreligious phenomena and introduce the reader to five scales measuring nonreligiosity.
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In this chapter, we explore the construct of humility, specifically focusing on its connections with religion, spirituality, and well-being. First, we review how the major world religions conceptualize and teach about the role of humility in living a virtuous life. Second, we review definitions of humility in psychological literature and summarize empirical research examining the associations between humility and well-being. Third, we explore the connections between religiousness and humility. Specifically, although religiousness may be one avenue to promote humility, we examine the paradox that, although most world religions teach and advocate for humility as a virtue, maintaining humility about one’s religious convictions is often challenging. Finally, we explore the role of intellectual humility for addressing the challenges involved in remaining humble to divergent belief systems and as a mechanism for reducing between-group conflict among individuals who hold dissonant beliefs.
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Two studies provide evidence for distinguishing intellectual humility (IH) from general humility (GH). Humility involves (a) an Accurate View of Self and (b) the ability to regulate egotism and cultivate an other-oriented stance; IH is a subdomain of humility that involves (a) having an accurate view of one’s intellectual strengths and limitations and (b) the ability to negotiate ideas in a fair and inoffensive manner. First, we present a theoretical framework for distinguishing these constructs. In Study 1, with a sample of undergraduate students (N = 1097), we used confirmatory factor analysis to provide empirical evidence for this distinction. We also found that IH predicted unique variance in openness to experience relative to GH. In Study 2, we examined additional evidence of discriminant validity with another sample of college students (N = 355). IH also predicted unique variance in need for cognition, objectivism, and religious ethnocentrism relative to GH.
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This study reports on the development of the Spiritual Transcendence Scale, a measure designed to capture aspects of the individual that are independent of the qualities contained in the Five-Factor Model of Personality (FFM). Using 2 separate samples of undergraduate students including both self-report ( Ns = 379 and 356) and observer data ( N = 279), it was shown that Spiritual Transcendence: (a) was independent of measures of the FFM; (b) evidenced good cross-observer convergence; and (c) predicted a wide range of psychologically salient outcomes, even after controlling for the predictive effects of personality. Given the long theoretical pedigree of Transcendence in the psychological literature, it was argued that Spiritual Transcendence represents a broad-based motivational domain of comparable breadth to those constructs contained in the FFM and ought to be considered a potential sixth major dimension of personality. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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Research has consistently shown that endorsing a religion or spirituality is to some extent related to one’s well-being. Common studied explanations tap into the social and cognitive aspects of religion and spirituality. The present research aims at understanding how religiosity and spirituality exert their impact on well-being and investigates the role of a surprisingly neglected mechanism: positive emotions. Two cross-sectional studies using a quantitative approach are presented. In two different contexts (churchgoers in a European country and US university employees interested in meditation), results showed that the relation between religion (Study 1), spirituality (Study 2) and well-being is mediated by positive emotions. Distinguishing between more and less relevant positive emotions in a religious/spiritual context, it was found that the effect was mediated by self-transcendent positive emotions (awe, gratitude, love, and peace) but not by other positive emotions (amusement and pride).
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We analyze data from nearly 2 million text messages (tweets) across over 16,000 users on Twitter to examine differences between Christians and atheists in natural language. Analyses reveal that Christians use more positive emotion words and less negative emotion words than atheists. Moreover, two independent paths predict differences in expressions of happiness: frequency of words related to an intuitive (vs. analytic) thinking style and frequency of words related to social relationships. These findings provide the first evidence that the relationship between religion and happiness is partially mediated by thinking style. This research also provides support for previous laboratory studies and self-report data, suggesting that social connection partially mediates the relationship between religiosity and happiness. Implications for theory and the future of social science using computational methods to analyze social media are discussed.
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Disgust is an emotion that plays an important role in the maintenance and protection of physical and moral purity (Rozin, Lowery, Imada, & Haidt, 1999b). Using a repeated taste-test paradigm, the present research extends recent work on moral cognition by investigating disgust reactions to rejected religious beliefs. In Experiment 1, Christian participants rated a beverage as tasting more disgusting after writing a passage from the text of the Qur’an or Richard Dawkins' The God Delusion than a control text. In Experiment 2, Christian participants rated a drink as tasting more disgusting after writing a passage from the Qur’an than a control passage, but the effect was eliminated after participants physically washed their hands. Participants writing a passage from the Bible showed the opposite effect of more disgust after washing their hands, indicating an aversive reaction to physical cleansing after contact with a source of moral purity. These results provide evidence that contact with a rejected religious belief elicits disgust and that both negative and positive moral contagions can be removed through physical cleansing. The implications of the results are discussed, including the possibility that holding true beliefs is an important component of one’s sense of moral purity, and that disgust helps protect these culturally valued truths.
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Researchers often expose participants to a series of words (e.g., religion, God, faith) to activate religious concepts and observe their subsequent effects on people's thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. This research has revealed many important effects of experimentally manipulated religious cognition in domains ranging from prosocial behavior to prejudice. However, it is not exactly clear what constitutes a “religious cognition,” and no research has yet investigated conceptual distinctions between different kinds of religious prime words. In the present research we used a card-sorting task to examine laypeople's subjective understanding of religious prime words, and the central categories or dimensions of these religious concepts. Using multidimensional scaling, property fitting, and cluster analysis methods to analyze the proximities among the words, we find evidence for the mental representation of three relatively distinct kinds of religious concepts: agents (e.g., God, angel), spiritual/abstract (e.g., faith, belief), and institutional/concrete (e.g., shrine, scripture). Theoretical and methodological impli-cations for religious priming research are discussed.
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In the current research we tested a comprehensive model of spirituality, religiosity, compassion, and altruism, investigating the independent effects of spirituality and religiosity on compassion and altruism. We hypothesized that, even though spirituality and religiosity are closely related, spirituality and religiosity would have different and unique associations with compassion and altruism. In Study 1 and 2 we documented that more spiritual individuals experience and show greater compassion. The link between religiosity and compassion was no longer significant after controlling for the impact of spirituality. Compassion has the capacity to motivate people to transcend selfish motives and act altruistically toward strangers. Therefore, we reasoned that spirituality (but not religiosity) would predict altruistic behavior and that compassion would help explain this link. Indeed, in Studies 3, 4, and 5 we found that more spiritual individuals behaved more altruistically in economic choice and decision-making tasks, and that the tendency of spiritual individuals to feel greater compassion mediated the spirituality-to-altruism relationship. In contrast, more religious participants did not consistently feel more compassion nor behave more altruistically. Moreover, in Studies 3 and 4 we found that the broader traits of Agreeableness, Openness, and Extraversion did not help explain why more spiritual individuals behaved more altruistically. Our findings argue that spirituality—above and beyond religiosity—is uniquely associated with greater compassion and enhanced altruism toward strangers. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved)
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The Spiritual Experience Index was developed to measure spiritual maturity in persons of diverse religious and spiritual beliefs. The scale was constructed from a developmental rather than a multidimensional conceptualization of faith. Initial findings from a religiously heterogeneous college sample indicated good reliability for the SEI and supported its use as a unidimensional measure. Higher scores on the SEI were significantly related to lower dogmatism and intolerance of ambiguity. The SEI was also moderately related to higher religious participation and positively correlated with intrinsicness and quest. However, compared with the intrinsic and quest scales, the SEI emerged as the strongest indicator of adaptive spiritual functioning. Directions for future research are suggested.
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In this innovative and deeply felt work, Bron Taylor examines the evolution of "green religions" in North America and beyond: spiritual practices that hold nature as sacred and have in many cases replaced traditional religions. Tracing a wide range of groups-radical environmental activists, lifestyle-focused bioregionalists, surfers, new-agers involved in "ecopsychology," and groups that hold scientific narratives as sacred-Taylor addresses a central theoretical question: How can environmentally oriented, spiritually motivated individuals and movements be understood as religious when many of them reject religious and supernatural worldviews? The "dark" of the title further expands this idea by emphasizing the depth of believers' passion and also suggesting a potential shadow side: besides uplifting and inspiring, such religion might mislead, deceive, or in some cases precipitate violence. This book provides a fascinating global tour of the green religious phenomenon, enabling readers to evaluate its worldwide emergence and to assess its role in a critically important religious revolution.
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Humility may play an important role in the forgiveness process. For example, aware- ness that one is not superior to others or the propensity to acknowledge mistakes could facilitate forgiveness. However, virtually no empirical research has examined possible connections between dispositional humility and different attitudes toward forgiveness or tendencies to forgive. Toward this end, undergraduates completed self-report measures of humility and forgiveness, and some dimensions known to correlate with self-reported forgiveness (e.g., spiritual transcendence (ST) and socially desirable responding). Partici- pants also completed Humility and Self-Esteem Implicit Association Tests. As predicted, moderate positive correlations were found between humility, ST, and forgiveness (when controlling for desirable responding). In particular, self-report measures of humility correlated highly with the self-reported tendency to forgive, whereas implicit humility correlated more strongly with attitudes towards forgiveness. No evidence of statistical mediation was found. That is, the positive humility-forgiveness associations remained when ST was controlled, and positive spiritual transcendence-forgiveness associations remained when humility was controlled. Finally, a statistical interaction between humil- ity and ST was detected on self-reported likelihood of forgiving. When controlling for socially desirable responding, people with a combination of high humility and high spiritual transcendence self-reported being more likely to forgive than persons with any other combination of humility and ST. Taken together, these patterns offer some clues about the positive nature of humility and have implications for interventions aimed at increasing forgiving behaviors.
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Spirituality has mostly been studied in psychology as implied in the process of overcoming adversity, being triggered by negative experiences, and providing positive outcomes. By reversing this pathway, we investigated whether spirituality may also be triggered by self-transcendent positive emotions, which are elicited by stimuli appraised as demonstrating higher good and beauty. In two studies, elevation and/or admiration were induced using different methods. These emotions were compared to two control groups, a neutral state and a positive emotion (mirth). Self-transcendent positive emotions increased participants' spirituality (Studies 1 and 2), especially for the non-religious participants (Study 1). Two basic world assumptions, i.e., belief in life as meaningful (Study 1) and in the benevolence of others and the world (Study 2) mediated the effect of these emotions on spirituality. Spirituality should be understood not only as a coping strategy, but also as an upward spiralling pathway to and from self-transcendent positive emotions.
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In two experiments, we investigated the role of awe in activating the association between religiosity/spirituality and related feelings and behavioral intentions. In Experiment 1, the induction of awe (through the recall of a relevant event), but not the induction of pride or a neutral condition, led religious and spiritual participants to endorse a spiritual (Tibet) but not a hedonistic (Haiti) travel destination. In Experiment 2, the induction (through relevant video clips) of (a) awe of nature and (b) awe at childbirth, but not the induction of humor led religious/spiritual people to express, respectively, feelings of oneness with (a) others in general and (b) friends. Implications of these findings, for instance in understanding the role of self-transcendent positive emotions in religious rituals, are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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Certain highly emotional experiences have the potential to produce long-lasting and meaningful changes in personality. Two such experiences are spiritual transformations and experiences of profound beauty. However, little is known about the cognitive appraisals or narrative elements involved in such experiences, how they are similar, and how they differ. In a study of emotion-related narratives, these experiences were found to share many features but also differ in their valence. Experiences of profound beauty are almost always positive, but spiritual transformations are both positive and negative. Moreover, spiritual transformations seem to produce long-lasting change, but experiences of profound beauty, although evocative, do not seem to produce long-lasting change. An emotion approach helps to elucidate two understudied but important emotional experiences. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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This research examined the association between religiousness and humility. Participants in Studies 1 and 2 completed measures of religiousness, socially desirable responding, and their own and other people’s adherence to biblical commandments. Participants in Study 2 also rated how characteristic nonreligious positive and negative trait terms were of the self and others. Humility was operationalized as the magnitude of difference between individuals’ evaluations of self and other. Overvaluing the self in relation to others or undervaluing others in relation to the self was considered evidence of less humility. Participants rated the self to be more adherent to biblical commandments than others (the holier-than-thou effect) and rated the self to be more positive and less negative than others (the self-other bias). In both studies, intrinsic religiousness was associated with an increase in the tendency to rate the self as more adherent to biblical commandments than others. Quest was associated with a slight decrease in the magnitude of the holier-than-thou effect. Religious motivations did not account for unique variation in the general self-other bias. Irrespective of motivations for being religious, however, highly religious people (i.e., upper thirds on general religiousness and religious fundamentalism) more so than less religious people (i.e., lower thirds on general religiousness and religious fundamentalism) rated the self to be better on nonreligious attributes than others.
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Historically, religion and religious belief have often been credited as the source of human morality. But what have been the real effects of religion on prosocial behavior? A review of the psychological literature reveals a complex relation between religious belief and moral action: leading to greater prosocial behavior in some contexts but not in others, and in some cases actually increasing antisocial behavior. In addition, different forms of religious belief are associated with different styles of co-operation. This body of evidence paints a somewhat messy picture of religious prosociality; however, recent examinations of the cognitive mechanisms of belief help to resolve apparent inconsistencies. In this article, we review evidence of two separate sources of religious prosociality: a religious principle associated with the protection of the religious group, and a supernatural principle associated with the belief in God, or other supernatural agents. These two principles emphasize different prosocial goals, and so have different effects on prosocial behavior depending on the target and context. A re-examination of the literature illustrates the independent influences of religious and supernatural principles on moral action.
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Science and religion have come into conflict repeatedly throughout history, and one simple reason for this is the two offer competing explanations for many of the same phenomena. We present evidence that the conflict between these two concepts can occur automatically, such that increasing the perceived value of one decreases the automatic evaluation of the other. In Experiment 1, scientific theories described as poor explanations decreased automatic evaluations of science, but simultaneously increased automatic evaluations of God. In Experiment 2, using God as an explanation increased automatic evaluations of God, but decreased automatic evaluations of science. Religion and science both have the potential to be ultimate explanations, and these findings suggest that this competition for explanatory space can create an automatic opposition in evaluations.
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Our purpose in the present meta-analysis was to examine the extent to which discrete emotions elicit changes in cognition, judgment, experience, behavior, and physiology; whether these changes are correlated as would be expected if emotions organize responses across these systems; and which factors moderate the magnitude of these effects. Studies (687; 4,946 effects, 49,473 participants) were included that elicited the discrete emotions of happiness, sadness, anger, and anxiety as independent variables with adults. Consistent with discrete emotion theory, there were (a) moderate differences among discrete emotions; (b) differences among discrete negative emotions; and (c) correlated changes in behavior, experience, and physiology (cognition and judgment were mostly not correlated with other changes). Valence, valence-arousal, and approach-avoidance models of emotion were not as clearly supported. There was evidence that these factors are likely important components of emotion but that they could not fully account for the pattern of results. Most emotion elicitations were effective, although the efficacy varied with the emotions being compared. Picture presentations were overall the most effective elicitor of discrete emotions. Stronger effects of emotion elicitations were associated with happiness versus negative emotions, self-reported experience, a greater proportion of women (for elicitations of happiness and sadness), omission of a cover story, and participants alone versus in groups. Conclusions are limited by the inclusion of only some discrete emotions, exclusion of studies that did not elicit discrete emotions, few available effect sizes for some contrasts and moderators, and the methodological rigor of included studies.
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The world is a vast and complex place that can sometimes generate feelings of uncertainty and distress for its inhabitants. Although religion is associated with a sense of meaning and order, it remains unclear whether religious belief can actually cause people to feel less anxiety and distress. To test the anxiolytic power of religion, we conducted two experiments focusing on the error-related negativity (ERN)-a neural signal that arises from the anterior cingulate cortex and is associated with defensive responses to errors. The results indicate that for believers, conscious and nonconscious religious primes cause a decrease in ERN amplitude. In contrast, priming nonbelievers with religious concepts causes an increase in ERN amplitude. Overall, examining basic neurophysiological processes reveals the power of religion to act as a buffer against anxious reactions to self-generated, generic errors-but only for individuals who believe.
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Past research has established a relationship between awe and explanatory frameworks, such as religion. We extend this work, showing (a) the effects of awe on a separate source of explanation: attitudes toward science, and (b) how the effects of awe on attitudes toward scientific explanations depend on individual differences in theism. Across 3 studies, we find consistent support that awe decreases the perceived explanatory power of science for the theistic (Study 1 and 2) and mixed support that awe affects attitudes toward scientific explanations for the nontheistic (Study 3).
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This article examines traditional and modern psychological characterizations of religiousness and spirituality. Three ways in which religiousness and spirituality are polarized by contemporary theorists are examined: organized religion versus personal spirituality; substantive religion versus functional spirituality; and negative religiousness versus positive spirituality. An alternative approach to understanding religiousness and spirituality is presented that integrates rather than polarizes these constructs, and sets boundaries to the discipline while acknowledging the diversity of religious and spiritual expressions. Directions for future investigations of these two constructs are presented.
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This article introduces an individual-difference measure of the need for cognitive closure. As a dispositional construct, the need for cognitive closure is presently treated as a latent variable manifested through several different aspects, namely, desire for predictability, preference for order and structure, discomfort with ambiguity, decisiveness, and close-mindedness. This article presents psychometric work on the measure as well as several validation studies including (a) a «known-groups» discrimination between populations assumed to differ in their need for closure, (b) discriminant and convergent validation with respect to related personality measures, and (c) replication of effects obtained with situational inductions of the need for closure
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There are 2 families of statistical procedures in meta-analysis: fixed- and random-effects procedures. They were developed for somewhat different inference goals: making inferences about the effect parameters in the studies that have been observed versus making inferences about the distribution of effect parameters in a population of studies from a random sample of studies. The authors evaluate the performance of confidence intervals and hypothesis tests when each type of statistical procedure is used for each type of inference and confirm that each procedure is best for making the kind of inference for which it was designed. Conditionally random-effects procedures (a hybrid type) are shown to have properties in between those of fixed- and random-effects procedures.
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Research on spirituality and forgiveness has begun to examine the types of dynamic, spiritual experiences that can promote forgiveness. Specifically, we explore how victims may see an offender's humility in relationship with the Sacred, and how this appraisal affects forgiveness. We also describe the development of the Spiritual Humility Scale (SHS). In Study 1 (N = 300; F = 166, M = 134), the SHS had a single-factor structure using exploratory factor analysis. In Study 2 (N = 150), the factor structure replicated and evidence supporting construct validity was adduced. Specifically, the SHS was moderately correlated with other spiritual appraisals and with judgments of general humility. It was correlated with forgiveness, even after controlling for other spiritual appraisals. This relationship was moderated by religious commitment, such that appraising spiritual humility affected forgiveness for those high, but not low, in religious commitment.
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In this paper, concerns are addressed regarding the validity of the Quest scale introduced by Batson (1976) and Batson and Ventis (1982). Some have wondered whether this scale might be more a measure of agnosticism, of anti-orthodoxy, of sophomoric religious doubt, or of religious conflict, if indeed, it is a measure of anything religious at all. We have reviewed the available evidence regarding validity, much of which has appeared in unpublished research reports, theses, dissertations, or convention papers, and thus has not been widely available. Based on the evidence, we have concluded that the Quest scale does indeed measure a dimension of personal religion very much like the one it was designed to measure: an open-ended, active approach to existential questions that resists clearcut, pat answers. Concerns regarding the reliability of the Quest scale, which have proved more persistent, are addressed in a companion paper.
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The present study attempts to measure how individuals define the terms religiousness and spirituality, to measure how individuals define their own religiousness and spirituality, and to examine whether these definitions are associated with different demographic, religio/spiritual, and psychosocial variables. The complete sample of 346 individuals was composed of 11 groups of participants drawn from a wide range of religious backgrounds. Analyses were conducted to compare participants' self-rated religiousness and spirituality, to correlate self-rated religiousness and spirituality with the predictor variables, and to use the predictor variables to distinguish between participants who described themselves as "spiritual and religious" from those who identified themselves as "spiritual but not religious." A content analysis of participants' definitions of religiousness and spirituality was also performed. The results suggest several points of convergence and divergence between the constructs religiousness and spirituality. The theoretical, empirical, and practical implications of these results for the scientific study of religion are discussed.
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“Spirituality” often has been framed in social science research as an alternative to organized “religion,” implicitly or explicitly extending theoretical arguments about the privatization of religion. This article uses in-depth qualitative data from a religiously diverse U.S. sample to argue that this either/or distinction not only fails to capture the empirical reality of American religion, it does no justice to the complexity of spirituality. An inductive discursive analysis reveals four primary cultural “packages,” or ways in which people construct the meaning of spirituality in conversation: a Theistic Package tying spirituality to personal deities, an Extra-Theistic Package locating spirituality in various naturalistic forms of transcendence, an Ethical Spirituality focusing on everyday compassion, and a contested Belief and Belonging Spirituality tied to cultural notions of religiosity. Spirituality, then, is neither a diffuse individualized phenomenon nor a single cultural alternative to “religion.” Analysis of the contested evaluations of Belief and Belonging Spirituality allows a window on the “moral boundary work” being done through identifying as “spiritual but not religious.” The empirical boundary between spirituality and religion is far more orous than is the moral and political one.
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Awe has been defined as an emotional response to perceptually vast stimuli that overwhelm current mental structures, yet facilitate attempts at accommodation. Four studies are presented showing the information-focused nature of awe elicitors, documenting the self-diminishing effects of awe experience, and exploring the effects of awe on the content of the self-concept. Study 1 documented the information-focused, asocial nature of awe elicitors in participant narratives. Study 2 contrasted the stimulus-focused, self-diminishing nature of appraisals and feelings associated with a prototypical awe experience with the self-focused appraisals and feelings associated with pride. Study 3 found that dispositional awe-proneness, but not dispositional joy or pride, was associated with low Need for Cognitive Closure, and also documented a relationship between dispositional awe and increased emphasis on membership in "universal" categories in participants' self-concepts. Study 4 replicated the self-concept finding from Study 3 using experimentally elicited awe. Implications for future work on awe are discussed.
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Across five studies, we found that awe increases both supernatural belief (Studies 1, 2, and 5) and intentional-pattern perception (Studies 3 and 4)-two phenomena that have been linked to agency detection, or the tendency to interpret events as the consequence of intentional and purpose-driven agents. Effects were both directly and conceptually replicated, and mediational analyses revealed that these effects were driven by the influence of awe on tolerance for uncertainty. Experiences of awe decreased tolerance for uncertainty, which, in turn, increased the tendency to believe in nonhuman agents and to perceive human agency in random events.
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In this paper we present a prototype approach to awe. We suggest that two appraisals are central and are present in all clear cases of awe: perceived vastness, and a need for accommodation, defined as an inability to assimilate an experience into current mental structures. Five additional appraisals account for variation in the hedonic tone of awe experiences: threat, beauty, exceptional ability, virtue, and the supernatural. We derive this perspective from a review of what has been written about awe in religion, philosophy, sociology, and psychology, and then we apply this perspective to an analysis of awe and related states such as admiration, elevation, and the epiphanic experience.
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The religion-science debate has heated up in recent years, with polemical arguments on both side decrying the other. Given that the dominant view is of religiousness as a relatively fixed personality trait, all of this furor seems excessive. Interested in just how malleable religiousness is, we exposed half of our participants to an argument against the existence of God by Richard Dawkins. Those exposed to Dawkins' arguments showed lower self-reported religiousness, as well as less implicit association between religion and truth. These results demonstrate the flexibility of trait religiousness.
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This article considers the question of whether our field should relabel itself the psychology of religion and spirituality. The meanings of religion and spirituality appear to be evolving. Religion is moving from a broadband construct—one that includes both the institutional and the individual, and the good and the bad—to a narrowband institutional construct that restricts and inhibits human potential. Spirituality, on the other hand, is becoming differentiated from religion as an individual expression that speaks to the greatest of human capacities. Several dangers in these trends are considered, including the danger of losing the sacred core of our field. An alternate approach to defining religion and spirituality is presented that preserves the heart of our discipline while encouraging the study of new pathways to the sacred and new meanings of the sacred itself. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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Although theorists have proposed the existence of multiple distinct varieties of positive emotion, dispositional positive affect is typically treated as a unidimensional variable in personality research. We present data elaborating conceptual and empirical differences among seven positive emotion dispositions in their relationships with two core personality constructs, the ''Big Five'' and adult attachment style. We found that the positive emotion dispositions were differentially associated with self-and peer-rated Extraversion, Conscientiousness, Agreeableness, Openness to Experience, and Neuroticism. We also found that different adult attachment styles were associated with different kinds of emotional rewards. Findings support the theoretical utility of differentiating among several dispositional positive emotion constructs in personality research.