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Is My Body a Cage?: Radical Dualism and Religious Orientation

Lauren Baldwin, Dr. Ron Wright, Department of Psychology, 6729 NW 39th Expressway, Bethany, OK 73008

Studies that have focused on Terror Management Theory (TMT) and religious orientation hone in on the characteristics and emotions tied to the fear of death, such as anxiety and depression, specifically as those emotions impact how one orients towards one's religious convictions. Prior research in TMT suggests that the human body can function as a reminder of mortality which in turn creates a motivation to dualistic understanding of self as body and soul. In the present study, it was hypothesized that religious orientation would be a contributor to one’s belief in dualism, such that there would be a positive correlation between security-focused orientation and one’s belief in dualism. On the other hand, it was hypothesized that a growth-focused religious orientation would be negatively correlated to dualism. Participants consisted of 222 adults, mostly university students, from two private christian colleges in the midwest. The participants completed a survey online, which included the Radical Dualism Scale, Defensive Theology Scale, and the Batson Quest Scale. Our study found that while there was a positive correlation between Radical Dualism and Defensively Oriented people, there was no correlation between Radical Dualism and Existentially Oriented people. It is important to go beyond measuring one’s religiosity, or how religious they feel they are, and to begin studying how we function psychologically through religion. How does it make people see the world, death, and even their own bodies?




Additional Abstract Information

Presenter: Lauren Baldwin

Institution: Southern Nazarene University

Type: Poster

Subject: Psychology

Status: Approved


Time and Location

Session: Poster 11
Date/Time: Wed 3:00pm-4:00pm
Session Number: 7021