Answers From the Beyond? Cultural Practices for Predicting the Future (69098)

Session Information: Qualitative/Quantitative Research in any other area of Psychology
Session Chair: Zachary Beckstead

Saturday, 1 April 2023 14:55
Session: Session 3
Room: Room 703
Presentation Type:Oral Presentation

All presentation times are UTC + 9 (Asia/Tokyo)

Our everyday and ordinary lives are filled with future-oriented actions where we strive to anticipate and predict the results of our actions. Historically, different cultures have created practices and objects to discern the future. These divinatory practices and objects reveal the goals, fears, and desires of those who use these devices and include card reading (cartomancy) and sacred texts (in Christianity known as Bibliomancy), and recent cultural inventions include the Magic 8 ball and Ouija Board. Through these objects and activities, individuals not only adapt to the world as-it-is, but actively attempt to align the future with their intentions. Our study investigated how we construct objects as potentially predictive of the future and also how some objects are personally constructed as appropriate or inappropriate devices to use to answer human concerns. Our research team had participants (n = 12) interact with three divinatory objects (e.g., the Bible, Magic 8 Ball, and Ouija Board), and respond to a questionnaire assessing their levels of comfort, safety, and belief in the predictive power of the object. Each participant was also asked about their experiences and beliefs about each object to determine how each object is constructed as legitimate or not legitimate. We found that participants were generally comfortable with the Bible and Magic 8 Ball, and not with the Ouija Board. However, we will discuss how cultural background and beliefs, especially in relation to science and meanings of sacredness, were influential variables determining their responses to the task.

Zachary Beckstead, Brigham Young University-Hawaii, United States
Gatlin Jordan, Brigham Young University-Hawaii, United States
Emily McFadden, Brigham Young University-Hawaii, United States
Mitzi Yanez, Brigham Young University-Hawaii, United States
Sharini Shanmuganathan, Brigham Young University-Hawaii, United States
Alex Song, Brigham Young University-Hawaii, United States

About the Presenter(s)
Dr Zachary Beckstead is a University Assistant Professor/Lecturer at Brigham Young University-Hawaii in United States

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Posted by Clive Staples Lewis

Last updated: 2023-02-23 23:45:00