ERIC Number: ED348582
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1992-Aug
Personal Responsibility versus God's Will: Religious and Non-religious Attributions for the Death of a Friend.
Park, Crystal L.; Cohen, Lawrence H.
Attributions, attempts to link an event with its causes, enable people to understand and react to their surroundings. Because attributions are directly related to understanding events, and because this understanding influences how individuals then deal with events, attributions play a vital role in the coping process. To explore the nature of religious attributions, undergraduate students, who ranged in age from 17 to 43, participated in this study to partially fulfill research-participation requirements for an introductory psychology class. Subjects (N=96) were interviewed about their attributions for the event, including perceptions of fairness, the friend's responsibility, God's involvement, and type of God's involvement (loving, purposeful, angry). Correlational analyses revealed important relationships among these variables (e.g., a strong positive association between intrinsic religiousness and attributions to God, a negative relationship between friend's responsibility and God's involvement). Qualitative analysis of the responses given by interviewees of God's reasons for bringing about the death fell into these categories: (1) for benefit of the deceased, for example, to make the deceased happier or to give them a rest; (2) for benefit of the survivors, for example, to make those remaining more aware that such things happen and that they must enjoy life now; (3) something worse would have happened; and (4) punishment, for example, for drinking and driving, using drugs, acting irresponsibly, and causing parents pain. (ABL)
Descriptors: Attribution Theory, Beliefs, College Students, Coping, Death, Higher Education, Religious Factors
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association (100th, Washington, DC, August 14-18, 1992).