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Title: Are You There God? It’s Me: Prayer as Self-Disclosure and its Effect on Affective States
Authors: Wiseman, Michal
Advisors: Tamir, Diana
Department: Psychology
Class Year: 2016
Abstract: Research on self-disclosure and prayer has found that both confer emotional benefit on the actor, whether the discloser or pray-er, yet, despite the significant similarities of these results, little research has been done on their overlap. The studies presented here test whether self-disclosure is in fact the mechanism by which those who pray benefit from this act. The following studies used surveys to test the effect of the receiver of the disclosure, whether God or a person, and whether trustworthy or untrustworthy, on the discloser, in terms of affective state. The expectation was that disclosure to a trustworthy receiver would yield positive results on affective states, and if God were the receiver these would be stronger for those who believe in God. A separate study tested the effect of prayer type on the pray-er, again in terms of affective state. The expectation was that those prayers that were most similar to self-disclosure would yield the most positive results on affective states. While there were a number of noteworthy effects on affective state in each study, they were generally not in the expected direction. Implications of these results and possibilities for future research are discussed.
Extent: 58 pages
Type of Material: Princeton University Senior Theses
Language: en_US
Appears in Collections:Psychology, 1930-2017

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