Understanding spirituality from positive psychology: Culture specificity of lived experience

2012 IJRSP – Volume 1 Issue 3


De la Peña, Yayetta C.*
Department of Psychology, Xavier University-Ateneo de Cagayan, Cagayan de Oro, Philippines (yayetdelapena@yahoo.com)


Spirituality as a subjective experience, intrinsic, and central to people’s well-being is underscored. Positive Psychology is presented as a possible framework for explaining the relationship between spirituality and well-being. However, for a more coherent understanding of the nature of spirituality, recommendation for a process-based rather than an outcome-based approach is made. As such, focus is shifted from identifying behavioral indicators and values check-list to studying people’s lived experience of spirituality. Rather than plain descriptive, the approach is believed to yield in-depth results that are more explicatory of the nature of spirituality. Moreover, the cultural specificity of spirituality is stressed. Viewed and actually practiced differently from culture to culture, a call to examine similarities and variations of psychological processes across cultures is proposed. Implications of the approaches to clinical practice and test development are indicated.

Keywords: culture-specific, individualism-collectivism, lived experience, spirituality


DOI: https://doi.org/10.5861/ijrsp.2012.265

*Corresponding Author