Control Deprivation Decreases, Not Increases, Belief in a Controlling God for People with Independent Self-Construal

  • Sinan AlperEmail author
  • Nebi Sümer


Compensatory Control Model suggests that, when deprived of personal control, people compensate this lack by bolstering their belief in a controlling God. However, this is not the only way of reacting to control deprivation as past literature also depicted that people sometimes become motivated to restore their personal control. We argued that people with highly independent self-construal would not be comfortable with enhancing external control in the absence of a personal one. We conducted an online experiment (N = 246) and the results indicated that control deprivation actually decreased, not increased, belief in a controlling God for people with independent self-construal. Such finding suggested that not everyone compensates for the lack of personal control by enhancing external control. Implications of the findings and potential limitations were discussed.


Control deprivation Compensatory control Belief in god Independence 



This study was a part of the PhD thesis of Sinan Alper and it was supported by The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TÜBİTAK) as a part of graduate scholarship programme (2211-A).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Conflict of Interest

On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyBaskent UniversityAnkaraTurkey
  2. 2.Middle East Technical UniversityAnkaraTurkey

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