Concept «Religion» in the Consciousness of Young People: Psycholinguistic Analysis

Keywords: concept, free association test, religion, religious discourse, students.

Abstract

Objective. The creation of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine is the reason of religious discourse investigation. The aim of this research is to analyze concept “religion” in the consciousness of young people.

Materials & Methods. Free word association test (WAT) has been used for psycholinguistic analysis. The respondents have been received a questionnaire with ten words-stimuli (related to religious discourse: clergyman, priest, theologian, church, religion, preaching, sacraments, faith, sin, prayer). In this article, we only analyzed associations for “religion”. The sample consisted of 246 students (biologists, psychologists and publishers) from Lesya Ukrainka Eastern European National University.

Results. As a result of the free WAT, 258 responses to the stimulus word “religion” were, among them 106 different associations. Among the most frequent responses were “faith”, “Christianity”, “church” and “orthodoxy”. In general, respondents often associate religion with the church and specific faiths (in this case, Christianity and Orthodoxy). The grammar and logical characteristics of the obtained associations have been analyzed. It has been shown that central paradigmatic reactions to the stimulus word “religion” predominate. The thematic features of the associations to “religion” have been analyzed. Ten different thematic groups have been identified: faith; types and directions of religion; outlook; church; morality; emotions; people; negative evaluations. The most numerous thematic group is “faith” which binds “religion” with faith in God and higher powers. The least numerous thematic groups are “morality”, “emotions” and “people”.

Conclusions. Students view religion on two sides. On the one hand, as a set of beliefs or a certain outlook. On the other hand, they restrict this concept to the community of like-minded, who meet in the church. In general, this thematic variety of the associations indicates a high level of students' awareness of the concept of “religion”. Prospects for further study of this problem lie in an in-depth psycholinguistic analysis of religious discourse.

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Published
2020-04-16
How to Cite
Kostruba, N. (2020). Concept «Religion» in the Consciousness of Young People: Psycholinguistic Analysis. PSYCHOLINGUISTICS, 27(1), 164-180. https://doi.org/10.31470/2309-1797-2020-27-1-164-180