Deity and Destiny: Patterns of Fatalistic Thinking in Christian and Hindu Cultures
Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 2009
25 Pages Posted: 26 Mar 2011
Date Written: November 17, 2009
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
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