Perceptions of the self differ between cultures, generally between those cultures in the West and East. Some of the ways that these individuals from these cultures may differ are in their self-construal, their collectivist and individualist tendencies, and how they perceive control in their lives. The current study proposes that some of these differences are influenced by different concepts individuals hold regarding the "soul", or inner self. These concepts may be promoted by the different religious beliefs prominent in different regions. The Soul Perception Index, being developed through this study, measures belief in multiple souls, a universal soul, a single soul, or no soul. It was predicted that a belief in a single soul will correlate with an individual view of the self (individualism, independent self-construal, internal locus of control), and a universal or multi-soul belief will correlate with an interdependent view of the self (collectivism, interdependent self-construal, and external locus of control). We found that these variables did not significantly differ in their relationships with soul belief. However, Indian Hindu participants and Chinese participants seemed to score highly on all self-view variables and all soul perception types indicating that individuals from these cultures may be more predisposed to hold opposing beliefs simultaneously while US Christians are not.
- The Influence of Soul Perception on Concepts of Self
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