Master of Arts (MA)
Faith E. Mullen
Primary Subject Area
Religion, General; Sociology, Ethnic and Racial Studies
Chinese student, Christianity, cognitive dissonance, United States
This study explored if Chinese students experienced cognitive dissonance when they were exposed to Christianity at a large southeast Christian university in the United States, and what were their responses regarding the reduction, increase or change of the cognitive dissonance after they were exposed to Christianity in the United States. Utilizing a qualitative study, the researcher interviewed twelve undergraduate students who were studying at a large southeast Christian university in the United States with eight primary questions and five sub-questions. The ages of the interviewees in this study were from 18 to 22 years old. The results of the current study indicated that Chinese students experienced cognitive dissonance when they were exposed to Christianity in the United States. The three themes that emerged from those twelve interview responses were awareness, uncertainty, and denial. In addition, those Chinese students tended to reduce their cognitive dissonance either by ignoring the new beliefs or by changing their existing beliefs and accepting Christianity.