A recent study in Finland looked at how people see the role of the brain, the mind, and the soul in death. Do people believe in an immortal soul? Do those that hold a firm religious belief differ in their belief about the soul compared to those that also believe in the paranormal?
Out of the five hundred and fifty-two volunteers, seventy percent believed in God. They were asked questions in reference to their belief about the mind, body, and soul in regards to their religious and paranormal beliefs. Another set of questions asked “The soul continues to exist though the body may die”, other questions included beliefs on witchcraft, superstition and religion/spirituality.
Results showed that most people do believe that the soul is immortal and does not die when the body dies. It was also found that some people believe that the brain is more important than the mind. It was also discovered that the volunteers that had spiritual/religious beliefs along with paranormal beliefs felt more strongly about the continuation of an immortal soul. Many people believe that even in death that a person can still feel emotions, desires and continue to see, think and feel.
Submitted by: Bridget Cotton
Lindeman, M. Riekki, T, and Svedholm-Hakkinen, A (2015). Individual Differences in Conceptions of Soul, Mind, and Brain. Journal of Individual Differences, 36(3):157–162.