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Home List of Titles The psychological framing of cults: schematic representations and cult evaluations
Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1959.3/151466
- The psychological framing of cults: schematic representations and cult evaluations
- Pfeifer, Jeffrey E.
- This research investigates the hypothesis that perceptions of cult indoctrination techniques are based on negative schematic representations as opposed to objective evaluations. It is specifically suggested that individuals who are asked to evaluate cult indoctrination techniques are anchoring their judgments on the group label in contrast to the process being employed. Subjects were asked to read a description of a young man who joins a group and is exposed to its indoctrination process. Depending on the condition, subjects were led to believe that the group was either the Moonies, the Marines, or the Catholic Church. Except for the group label, in all three conditions the description of the indoctrination process was identical. Subjects were then asked to evaluate both the group's indoctrination techniques and the individual who joined the group, and to complete a questionnaire regarding their general knowledge of cults. Results indicate that subject ratings are significantly affected by the group label and that general knowledge regarding cults is based primarily on indirect sources. Implications of these findings are discussed.
- Publication type
- Journal article
- Journal of Applied Social Psychology: incorporating the proceedings of the 1989 Annual Meeting of the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion, Salt Lake City, Utah, United States, 27 October 1989, Vol. 22, no. 7 (Apr 1992), pp. 531-544
- Publication year
- FOR Code(s)
- 1701 Psychology; 1702 Cognitive Sciences
- Cults; Fear; Indoctrination; Public perceptions; Religion; Religious groups
- Publisher URL
- Copyright © 1992. The copyright policy of the publisher allows the accepted manuscript to be reproduced here after a publisher-enforced embargo period.
- Peer reviewed