Topics: Psychology, Religion, Human behavior Pages: 10 (2986 words) Published: March 8, 2013
UAPC 1024 Theories of Counselling and Psychotherapy
Year 1 Trimester 2 (201010)
Group Assignment
Topic: Effects of Spiritual Beliefs on Human Psychology

Tutorial Group: T3
Lecturer & Tutor: Mr. Mohammed Yusof Bin Dawood Gany
Submission Date: 15 November 2010
No.| Name| ID| |
1. | Ang Yi Qian| 09AAB03825| |
2. | Lim Eu Chuan| 09AAB04288| |
3. | Lu Wei Keat| 09AAB02531| |
4. | Titus Choong En Guang| 09AAB05689| |
5. | Wong Swee Li| 09AAB03333| |
6. | Yu Sher Lee| 09AAB01126| |

Table of Content
No.| Content| Page No.|
1. | Introduction| 2|
2. | Meditation – A Growing Interest for Researchers| 2| 3. | Effects of Spiritual Beliefs| |
| Effects on Psychological Well-being| 4|
| Effects on Attitude| 5|
| Effects on Personality| 6|
| Effects on Behaviours| 7|
| Effects on Lifestyle| 8|
4. | Conclusion| 9|
5. | References| 10|

The interest of this study is to examine the effects of spiritual beliefs on human psychology. The term ‘spiritual beliefs’ used in this study is to encapsulate both religion and spirituality which are the subjects of interest in many researches. Past attempts to define and distinct them accurately are either too narrow or too broad (Hill, et al., 2000). Definitions which are too narrow resulted in research with limited value while, on the other hand, definitons which are too broad resulted in the loss of distinction between religion and spirituality (Hill, et al., 2000). Thus, the term ‘spiritual beliefs’ used hereafter refer to religious beliefs, self-defined doctrine, taboos, traditions, etc.

It is found that spiritual beliefs have effects on several aspects of human psychology. The aspects which will be examined in this report are namely, psychological well-being, attitude, personality, behaviour, and lifestyle. First, the report will present the facts that spiritual beliefs promote positive thinking and emotions and alike or in other word, promote psychological well-being. Then, information will be presented on how people’s attitudes are affected by spiritual beliefs. Proceed after that, some light will be shed on the effects of spiritual beliefs has over people’s personalities. Next, readers will get to know the reasons behind how behaviours change according to beliefs. Lastly, we will examine how lifestyle is affected by individuals’ beliefs.

This report ends with a conclusion in which sums up all the effects of spiritual beliefs on human psychology to highlight its significant. It poses no judgment and it is the readers’ right to follow and practice any religions and practices one believes in. Meditation – A Growing Interest for Researchers

In this section, meditation will be highlighted and the positive effects it may have on us will be brought to light for the knowledge of readers. Meditation has been proven to have profound effects on human psychophysiology and until 2009 there are over 400 published articles on the psychophysiological changes during meditation (Chopra, 1993; Pelletier, 1977 as cited in Sumter, Monk-Turner, & Turner, 2009).

It is a fundamental practice in Buddhism whereby attention is consciously controlled to enhance well-being and to acquire insight (Cloninger, 2008). There are two major types of meditations which are concentrative meditation, one that focuses attention on an object, often the breath, and mindfulness meditation that allows thoughts to appear and observes them without judgment (Cloninger, 2008).

In one study, meditation is showed to be capable of improving control of attention and perception (Cloninger, 2008). The study compromises of an experimental group which practices meditation twice a day was compared to a controlled group which do not meditate. The experimental group showed improvement in two...
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