Deity and Destiny: Patterns of Fatalistic Thinking in Christian and Hindu Cultures

Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 2009

25 Pages Posted: 26 Mar 2011

See all articles by Maia J. Young

Maia J. Young

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - Anderson School of Management

Michael Morris

Columbia Business School - Management

Jeremy Burrus

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign - Department of Psychology

Lilavati Krishnan

Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur

Murari Prasad Regmi

Tribhuvan University

Date Written: November 17, 2009

Abstract

The current studies investigate whether different forms of fatalistic thinking follow from the Christian and Hindu cosmologies. We found that fatalistic interpretations of one’s own life events center on deity influence for Christians, especially for those high in religiosity; however, Hindu interpretations of one’s own life emphasized destiny as much as deity (Study 1). Also, the focus on fate over chance when explaining others’ misfortunes depends on the presence of known misdeeds for Christians, but not for Hindus (Study 2). Finally, Christians prefer petitionary prayer over divination as a strategy for managing uncontrollable future risks (Studies 3a and 3c), and preference for these strategies can be primed in bicultural Hindu Americans by a Hindi-accented telephone interviewer (Study 3b).

Keywords: fate, culture, religion, justice, explanation, coping

Suggested Citation

Young, Maia J. and Morris, Michael W. and Burrus, Jeremy and Krishnan, Lilavati and Regmi, Murari Prasad, Deity and Destiny: Patterns of Fatalistic Thinking in Christian and Hindu Cultures (November 17, 2009). Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 2009. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=920062

Maia J. Young (Contact Author)

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - Anderson School of Management ( email )

110 Westwood Plaza
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1481
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.anderson.ucla.edu/x5157.xml

Michael W. Morris

Columbia Business School - Management ( email )

3022 Broadway
New York, NY 10027
United States
212-854-2296 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.michaelwmorris.com

Jeremy Burrus

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign - Department of Psychology ( email )

601 E John St
Champaign, IL 61820
United States

Lilavati Krishnan

Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur ( email )

Kanpur, 208016
India

Murari Prasad Regmi

Tribhuvan University ( email )

Kirtipur
Kathmandu, Bagmati 44600
Nepal

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