Cookies Policy
Cookie Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

Immortality of the Soul as an Intuitive Idea: Towards a Psychological Explanation of the Origins of Afterlife Beliefs

No metrics data to plot.
The attempt to load metrics for this article has failed.
The attempt to plot a graph for these metrics has failed.
MyBook is a cheap paperback edition of the original book and will be sold at uniform, low price.

Buy this article

$30.00+ Tax (if applicable)
Add to Favorites

AbstractThis study tried to investigate if intuitive ideas about the continuation of the Self after death determine the way people represent the state of being dead, and, in this way, investigate possible psychological origins of afterlife beliefs, which constitute a recurrent cultural phenomenon. A semi-structured interview and a self-report questionnaire were used to obtain information on the experience of imagining oneself as dead and the representation of the dead-I of young adults. The results suggest that (1) there is a tendency to imagine the state of being dead as a continuation of the I, even in the absence of explicit afterlife beliefs; (2) perceptual, emotional, epistemic and desire experiences are associated to the dead-I; (3) the representation of the dead-I seems to be determined by an interaction between cognitive processes related to self-awareness and theory of mind, and the cultural afterlife beliefs explicitly learned. A previous alternative hypothesis, suggesting that simulation constraints were responsible for the emergence of non-reflective afterlife concepts (Bering, 2002, 2006) is not completely supported by our results. The data presented here suggest that immortality of the soul might be an intuitive religious concept, connected to the experience of the Self and to the implicit theorization that the experienced Self is independent from the body. Future studies should focus on the collection of cross-cultural and developmental data.


Article metrics loading...



Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Subscribe to email alerts
  • Get permissions
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
    Journal of Cognition and Culture — Recommend this title to your library

    Thank you

    Your recommendation has been sent to your librarian.

  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation