Identity fusion is a relatively unexplored form of alignment with groups that entails a visceral feeling of oneness with the group. This feeling is associated with unusually porous, highly permeable borders between the personal and social self. These porous borders encourage people to channel their personal agency into group behavior, raising the possibility that the personal and social self will combine synergistically to motivate pro-group behavior.
In two experiments, we investigated the role of awe in activating the association between religiosity/spirituality and related feelings and behavioral intentions. In Experiment 1, the induction of awe (through the recall of a relevant event), but not the induction of pride or a neutral condition, led religious and spiritual participants to endorse a spiritual (Tibet) but not a hedonistic (Haiti) travel destination.
We sought to identify the mechanisms that cause strongly fused individuals (those who have a powerful, visceral feeling of oneness with the group) to make extreme sacrifices for their group. A large multinational study revealed a widespread tendency for fused individuals to endorse making extreme sacrifices for their country. Nevertheless, when asked which of several groups they were most inclined to die for, most participants favored relatively small groups, such as family, over a large and extended group, such as country (Study 1).
This research meaningfully connects the literatures on identification and business ethics by proposing the new construct of moral identification. Moral identification is defined here as the perception of oneness or belongingness associated with an organization that exhibits ethical traits (e.g., care, kindness, and compassion), which also involves a deliberate concern of the membership with an ethical organization.
Most measures of spirituality privilege religious spirituality, but people may experience spirituality in a variety of ways, including a sense of closeness, oneness, or connection with a theistic being, the transcendent (i.e., something outside space and time), oneself, humanity, or nature. The overall purpose of the present 4 studies was to develop the Sources of Spirituality (SOS) Scale to measure these different elements of spirituality.
Awakening experiences are powerful and transcendent experiences that profoundly affect the individual. There appears to be an essential core experience of oneness. It is experienced as a completely subjective phenomenon where awareness contains reality and the notions of an external reality and a separate self are perceived as delusions. A model is presented of awakening experiences that postulates 3 layers of processing, sensory, perceptual, and cognitive, that separate external energy from awareness.