It’s the End of the World and I Feel Fine: Soul Belief and Perceptions of End-of-the-World Scenarios

Uri Lifshin, Jeff L Greenberg, David Weise, Melissa Soenke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Five studies tested the effects that soul beliefs have on reactions to end-of-the-world scenarios. In Studies 1 and 2, participants who firmly believe in an immortal soul showed less resistance to an article predicting the end of humanity than those without such belief. However, in Studies 3 to 5, thoughts of symbolic immortality made soul believers more resistant to scientific evidence predicting the end of humanity. These results suggest that belief in an immortal soul provides psychological protection against the threat of humanity’s demise that does not hold for symbolic immortality beliefs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)104-117
Number of pages14
JournalPersonality and Social Psychology Bulletin
Volume42
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016

Keywords

  • end of the world
  • global warming
  • immortality
  • religion
  • soul

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology

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