HOW PEOPLE PERCEIVE CULTS MEMBERS?
 
Toda, K., Hitotsubashi University, Japan
 
Cults members are usually perceived as curious and fanatic existence. However, some researches have suggested that cultic groups had involved their members with shrewd psychological manipulation of which the targets were hard to be aware in their conversion. This research examined how undergraduate students perceived importance of shrewdness psychological manipulation as factor of involving cults, in comparison with personal trait. Respondents were 62 male, 32 female and unknown 1 undergraduate students between ages 18 to 22.They filled out the questionnaire in their class, which was introductory course in psychology. First, the respondents were asked to recall the most typical cult member for them, then to evaluate the member from a point of why he or she participated the cult on seven-point scale ranging from strongly agree to strongly disagree. (e.g. "The reason why the member participated the cult was that he or she didn't effort to resist the cult's persuasion") Moreover, they asked to evaluate how cults' persuasion was to measure how accurate cognition about cults they have on seven-point scale. The results revealed that respondents perceived personality trait was stronger than shrewdness of psychological manipulation as the factor of involving cults. Further, they had tendency to overestimate a possibility to avoid being involved cults themselves much more than the cults members on the active list significantly. Such suggestion must be pay attention on prevent education of cults.