Implicit Theories and Religious Belief Systems in College Students

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Title: Implicit Theories and Religious Belief Systems in College Students
Author: Habte-Tesfamariam, Milen
Advisor: Lilgendahl, Jennifer L.
Department: Haverford College. Dept. of Psychology
Type: Thesis (B.A.)
Running Time: 535384 bytes4702011 bytes
Issue Date: 2008
Abstract: The connections between implicit theories about the fixed vs. changeable nature of personality and religious identity among college students are investigated in this paper. Past research on implicit theories has examined how they relate to moral reasoning. In this study, we sought to explore questions such as are implicit theories related to the extent of religious exploration and questioning in young adults? On a more exploratory level, do entity and incremental theorists differ in how they think about the relationship between religion and personality? In addition, we are interested in how implicit beliefs about personality relates to how people think about negative and positive events in life and how they believe religion relates to their thinking about these events. Results showed that entity theorists to a lesser extent show more evidence that people are deserving of what happens to them but do not judge themselves more harshly and express greater difficulty with forgiveness than incremental theorists. In contrast, incremental theorists to a greater extent show a greater appreciation for the complexity of causality and a greater belief in both themselves and others to grow and change in positive ways, especially after negative experiences. Lastly, results illustrate that there are marginally significant difference in religious exploration between Christians and Muslims. Christians appear to explore more among religions than Muslims.
Subject: Implicit religion
Subject: College students -- Religious life
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Habte-Tesfamariam, Milen. "Implicit Theories and Religious Belief Systems in College Students". 2008. Available electronically from

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