Cross Cultural Beliefs About the Afterlife

3636 words 15 pages
Cross Cultural Beliefs about The Afterlife.

Seminar in Individual Differences and Personality


A study of American undergraduates indicated that the beliefs about the nature of life after death were quite complicated. A 41-item questionnaire produced 12 independent groups of beliefs. Belief in an internal locus of control and that one’s life is owned by God were associated with a more positive view of the afterlife, as was being Roman Catholic rather than Protestant. The most common beliefs were that one is reunited with family and friends, that the afterlife is comforting, that there is Heaven and that the transition is peaceful, all believed by more than 90 percent of the students.
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Also the researchers conducted two methods. There were extra questions that were added also. This helped the researchers find other specific beliefs. Overall, having two methods gives a better view of what data is best to keep and present. The first weakness of this article is that the date was only consumed from one specific university. This has a major limit on how this data will be taken into account by others. When data is taken only from one part of he country it limits how credible the findings are and how they can be used in future research. Another weakness is that the researchers only conducted a questionnaire in their method to finding data on beliefs about the afterlife. Another weakness is that the sample size was small in the first method. It may be hard to compare data between method one and method two because they have significant difference in sample size. Lastly, a major weakness would be the data expenditure of only undergraduate students with mean ages of 23.8 and 22.5 within the two methods verses consuming data from many different age groups.

Cross-cultural research on beliefs about the afterlife is one of the major directions that can be taken with this research topic just as it was done by: Ambwani, Warren, Gleaves, Benito and Fernandez (2007) in their research on fear of fatness across


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