Committee Chair

Hood, Ralph W., Jr.

Committee Member

Watson, Paul J.; Silver, Christopher F.

Department

Dept. of Psychology

College

College of Arts and Sciences

Publisher

University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Place of Publication

Chattanooga (Tenn.)

Abstract

The number of nonreligious Americans has increased over the past few decades; however negative attitudes toward the nonreligious persist in America, especially in areas with high levels of religiosity. This may compel some nonreligious individuals to conceal their identity in order to manage stigma in areas with high proportions of religious individuals. However, no existing measures systematically assess the concealment of nonreligious identity. To address this gap in the literature, I created a measure of concealment of nonreligious identity that I administered to nonreligious individuals from online sources. Participants who lived in the Southern United States were further assessed with semi-structured interviews. Results showed that Southern atheists/nonreligious individuals had higher concealment scores than participants from other regions of the United States. Additionally, Southern atheist/nonreligious individuals used the stigma management strategies of counterfeiting, avoidance, and integration. Implications for the role of social tension in psychological research are discussed.

Degree

M. S.; A thesis submitted to the faculty of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the degree of Master of Science.

Date

5-2019

Subject

Secrecy -- Religious aspects; Identification (Religion)

Keyword

Atheism; Nonreligion; Concealment; Identity; Stigma

Document Type

Masters theses

Extent

137 leaves

Language

English

Rights

Under copyright.

License

http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/3.0/

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