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A study of belief formation and its change (4) : Analysis of belief-system enhancement/maintenance by cult mind-control


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  • ビリーフの形成と変化の機制についての研究(4) : カルト・マインド・コントロールにみるビリーフ・システムの強化・維持の分析
  • ビリーフ ノ ケイセイ ト ヘンカ ノ キセイ ニ ツイテ ノ ケンキュウ 4

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This paper reports an analysis of enhancement and maintenance of one's belief system by means of using cult mind-control techniques. The study analyzed mainly using a questionnaire administered to 272 persons of former cult members, furthermore with the use of content analysis of textbook on dogma, video tapes of the dogma and interviews wiht the former cult members. The result of factor analysis from the questionnaire data revealed that the cult mind-control techniques have produced following six situational factors for enhancement and maintenance of one's belief system; namely they are 1) restriction of freedom, 2) restriction of sexual emotion, 3) physical exhaustion, 4) avoidance of outgroups, 5) reward and punishment and 6) time pressure. It could be concluded from this result and other studies that the following three psychological factors influence the enhancement and maintenance of one's belief system that controls behavior; 1) conditioning, 2) self-deception, 3) cognitive dissonance. Furthermore, the controls of information processing operate in the following four dimensions; 1) gain-loss effect, 2) systematization, 3) priming effect and 4) threatening messages. In addition, the reinforcement of group memberships were enchanced by 1) selective exposure to stimuli and 2) strengthening social identity. It was also found that factor of physiological stress facilitates these controls.


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