religious quest as a defense mechanism

Published: 17 March 2022| Version 1 | DOI: 10.17632/kxp3skz3ym.1
Agnieszka Krzysztof-Świderska


The aim of the initiated project was to define a role and mechanism of spiritual and religious quest in the face of the human existential situation. The scientific goal of the pilot study was to verify a way of falsification of the research hypothesis, which assumes that a spiritual and religious quest will increase after exposure to stimuli concerning perspectives of death, the sense of human insignificance against the vastness of the universe, the forces of nature as well cultural change. Hypothesis assume that this effect measured directly after the exposure will be greater than after 30 min of break, what indicate rather defense mechanism (automatically and unconsciously triggered defense mechanism), than coping strategy (a religious quest as an intentional way to mastery of anxiety) (Kramer, 2010). Subjects filled the Questionnaire of Religious Insight (Krzysztof-Świderska et al., 2017) and the Polish adaptation of the Scale of Religious Orientation (Socha, 2009) twice: before and after exposure to the indicated stimulus: visual stimuli (a series of photos) as well as audiovisual stimuli (a short documentaries). There were also two control conditions in which the stimuli exposed are neutral (photos of flowers and trees). Each experimental and control condition included aproximetly 15 people, that is, a total of 117 people were involved in the pilot study. Due to the universal nature of postulated dependencies, study group consisted of students with only control of the sex factor. Results are interesting; the procedure seems worthy of further use and development.



Akademia Ignatianum w Krakowie


Experimental Psychology