Human Adjustment - Perspectives on Religious Beliefs

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Perspectives on Religious Beliefs

In the portion of psychological research based on religion, there are four general models. These models are used to describe thought and behavior related toward religion. The four models are: the behavior model, the psychoanalytic model, the humanistic model, and the sociocultural model.

The behavioral model deals with the relationship between punishment and reward to how a person views religion. This model accentuates the significance of how a person has learned to view religion in their past and how that learning has shaped their outlook on religion today. The behavioral model also portrays an importance of imitation and how that affects religious view as well.

The psychoanalytic model of religion underlines that the main source of religiousness lies within a person’s unconscious mind. This model explains that individuals have unconscious, intuitive needs, and that those needs can be met by becoming religious and accepting a higher being. If an individual falls into the psychoanalytic model, they could potentially be looking to God, or some other higher power, for answers never previously given or a sense of belonging with a group that was never made available before in their life. These examples both meet common needs of knowingness and a sense of belonging.

The humanistic model of religion also explains religion in comparison to human needs. In this approach, though, the needs described are more for a person’s growth, purpose in life, and for self-actualization. This model refers to religion as a “vehicle” for an individual to innately want to satisfy their potential on Earth and express their principles and values.

Lastly, the sociocultural model explains a relationship between the religious person and their surrounding culture as reason for their religious views. This model states that people in a certain culture will adopt the religious stance of the culture due the encounters they have...
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