Some scholars have suggested that individuals are inclined to believe that they have souls because they are also inclined to believe that they have a core, immutable self. The present study will explore this question in several parts. First, what is the extent to which individuals report having a core self? Next, how do beliefs about a core self relate to belief or non-belief in an eternal soul? The final question looks at location as an extension of the core self and soul relationship. Where is the self perceived to reside within a dualistic framework, the body or the soul? This study assessed the stated beliefs of 200 respondents using Amazon Mechanical Turk as a recruiting platform. Greater belief in a core self was moderately associated with greater belief in an eternal soul (r= 0.30, p<.01), and with belief in the self as a reflection of the soul (r=0.31, p<.01) and as a reflection of the brain (r=0.21, p<.01). This suggests that belief in a core self does hold association with belief in an eternal soul. However, its perceived location seems to show little preference as residing withing the soul versus the body.
- Dualism and the Self: Conceptions of the Core Self Within a Dualistic Framework
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