CHAPTER 3

Belief Systems of the Western World & Interpretations for Behavioral Economics

Before delving into a discussion of specific religions, it is important to make the distinction between Western and Eastern religions. Seminal research in the field of religion and psychology posits distinct differences between Western religions (also known as the emissary religions) and Eastern religions (also known as the exemplary religions).1 Western religions (Christianity, Judaism, Islam) are based on the same belief that God created the world and that there is a common truth (e.g., God created the world, end time with heaven/hell, etc.) that all must believe.2 Eastern religions (Buddhism, Hinduism, Confucianism, Taoism), on the other hand, do not have ...

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