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并非书评(2)|When Prophecy Fails

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TitleWhen Prophecy Fails
AuthorsLeon FestingerHenry W. RieckenStanley Schachter
Editionreprint
PublisherLiterary Licensing, LLC, 2012
ISBN1258350556, 9781258350550
Length264 pages

维基百科不允许使用代理ip来编辑了,今年的贡献值大概只能是0了。没什么好抱怨的,就像以赛亚同学所说,我住在嘴唇不洁的民中,需要火钳夹过才行,姑且如此吧。

When Prophecy Fails: A Social and Psychological Study of a Modern Group That Predicted the Destruction of the World is a classic work of social psychology by Leon FestingerHenry Riecken, and Stanley Schachter, published in 1956, detailing a study of a small UFO religion in Chicago called the Seekers that believed in an imminent apocalypse. The authors took a particular interest in the members’ coping mechanisms after the event did not occur, focusing on the cognitive dissonance between the members’ beliefs and actual events, and the psychological consequences of these disconfirmed expectations. One of the first published cases of dissonance was reported in this book.

《当预言落空:对现代某些相信世界末日预言之群体的社会学和心理学研究》是一本出版于1956年的社会心理学经典。此书详细研究了一个位于芝加哥,名叫“The Seekers”的UFO信仰小群体,考察了他们对迫近之世界末日之信仰。三位作者特别分析了预言落空之后其成员的应对机制,试图理解其成员的信念与实际(未发生)事件之间的认知失调以及期待落空之后的心理后果。

假说

此书的主要假说是,根据对历史上若干信仰群体的观察,预言落空并不会导致成员拒绝最初的信仰系统,反而可能会增进信徒的个人委身,也增加他们向他人传播自己信念的热情。为了实现这一点,作者给出了5个先决条件:

条件效果
“1. A belief must be held with deep conviction and it must have some relevance to action, that is, to what the believer does or how he or she behaves.” 成员必须对其信条深信不疑,并据以采取切实而有关的行动。使得信念更难以改变。
“2. The person holding the belief must have committed himself to it; that is, for the sake of his belief, he must have taken some important action that is difficult to undo. In general, the more important such actions are, and the more difficult they are to undo, the greater is the individual’s commitment to the belief.” 信徒必须委身于信仰;也就是说,为了信仰,他必须采取过某种难以还原的行动。一般而言,他所采取的行动越重大,越难以还原,个人对信念的委身就越强。使得信念更难以改变。
“3. The belief must be sufficiently specific and sufficiently concerned with the real world so that events may unequivocally refute the belief.” 信念必须足够具体,与真实世界有着足够的关联度,因此某些事件可以毫不含糊地驳斥其信念。Exposes believers to the possibility of their belief being disproved. 信徒所持有的信念可能被事实所否定。
“4. Such undeniable disconfirmatory evidence must occur and must be recognized by the individual holding the belief.” 不可辩驳的证伪已经发生,持有此信念的信徒也已经明白知晓其事实。Exerts pressure on believers to abandon their belief. 专家压力迫使信徒放弃自己的信念。
“5. The individual believer must have social support.” 个体信徒必须得到社会支持。While an individual might be unable to resist the pressure to abandon their belief in the face of disconfirming facts, a group might be able to support each other to maintain the belief. 在否定的事实面前,单独的个体可能无法抗拒放弃信念的压力,但一个群体可以彼此支持,以维持信念。

In the case of all conditions being in place, their hypothesis was that believers would find it difficult to abandon their beliefs in the face of disconfirmation, would use their available social support to maintain their beliefs, and try to increase consonance by recruitment through proselyting, on the grounds that “If more and more people can be persuaded that the system of belief is correct, then clearly it must after all be correct.” 当以上所有条件都成立,他们的假设是,信徒将会发现自己即使面对不可辩驳的否定性证据也难以放弃信念,反而会利用可能的社会支持来维持信念,并更为热心地“传福音”引导新人加入,因为“如果可以说服更多的人相信这个信仰系统是正确的,那么显然它可以不顾事实地正确。”

The research team considered that all of the conditions were likely to be fulfilled in the case study involving Martin and her followers. In this case, if the group’s leader could add consonant elements by converting others to the basic premise, then the magnitude of her dissonance following disconfirmation would be reduced. The research team predicted that the inevitable disconfirmation would be followed by an enthusiastic effort at proselyting to seek social support and lessen the pain of disconfirmation. 研究者认为,在Martin及其追随者的群体中,这几个条件均可能成立。在这样的条件下,如果该团体的领袖能够让其他人事先接受其基本信仰前设,增加群体的聚合力,在预言落空之后造成的分裂效果将会减轻。研究小组预测,在不可避免的预言落空之后,该群体会出现一个更加热情的宣教运动,以寻求社会支持,减少认知失调的痛苦。


最近的一个案例是,某基督教牧师预言了世界末日,告知信徒某年某月某日“被提上天”。预言的日子到了,但什么也没有发生,于是其信徒并未抛弃此牧师,而是认可他的解释——“被提”的确发生了,不过是在属灵意义上发生,不是在物理世界里的事件。所以,大家继续相信牧师的预言,并更加热情地“传福音”。


这本书的结论,对于分析当代的misinformation(虚假信息),critical thinking(批判性思维),conspiracy theory(阴谋论),都有不同的应用——是的,我在听与上述问题有关的三门课程时,教授都提到这本书的结论。

从这个意义上看, 年轻地球创造论者(YECers)和圣辅的受辅者们(Biblical Counsellees)显然有着更为强大的支持群体,至少在纸面上看是如此这般。

所以,我从来没想过要用《低端护教学》来让YECers改变立场,也没想过用“起底圣经辅导”来推广基督教心理学。我更像一个卧底,是来坚固他们YEC和BC的。

当然,也有研究说,狮屎胜于熊便,只要薰陶得多了,还是有人会那个啥的。

2021年,心理学家Stuart Vyse发表过一篇讨论川普和QAnon的文章,名字叫“When QAnon Prophecy Fails”,可以参考。


说了这么多,重申一下微信4原则:

  1. 聊天时间有限。有要事请发邮件。不要给我发语音信息。
  2. 朋友圈随意乱说。能看到的都是朋友,介意的请屏蔽,我并不介意。
  3. 我不建群,也不在各种群里推送自己的文章。群是为了群的目的而设立的。(路加福音 8:30,我名叫群……)
  4. 公众号是发文章的地方。但我不是典型的主内公众号——不讲道,不解经,不推荐属灵资源,也不……。有些文章主要是为了安全起见而洗粉——如果您觉得受了冒犯,也许您的感受是真实的。

出品:Eddy@kuawentrans.com;eddyemma.com

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2 thoughts on “并非书评(2)|When Prophecy Fails”

  1. 我看看能不能將這五個條件應用在耶穌趕鬼、基督復活和基督再來三個事件上

    將undo翻譯爲“還原”挺新穎的

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