ISSN 0439-755X
CN 11-1911/B

Acta Psychologica Sinica ›› 2022, Vol. 54 ›› Issue (1): 54-65.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2022.00054

• Reports of Empirical Studies • Previous Articles     Next Articles

How ritual actions, symbolic meanings, and positive emotions enhance perceived control: A dual path way mechanism

YIN Keli(), LAN Miaosen, LI Hui, ZHAO Ziwen   

  1. Faculty of Education, Yunnan Normal University, Kunming 650500, China
  • Received:2021-01-05 Published:2022-01-25 Online:2021-11-26
  • Contact: YIN Keli
  • Supported by:
    humanities and social sciences research planning fund of the Ministry of Education(19YJAZH103);regional project of the National Natural Science Foundation of China(72061012)


Taking “Guozhuang worship”, a traditional ritual of Pumi people in China, as an example, this study explored the effects of ritual actions, symbolic meanings, and positive emotions on the perceived control of adolescents and adults in Pumi people by using the methods of recall task and creating novel rituals. The results showed that adolescents who were familiar with the actions, symbolism, or more emotional experiences of the Guozhuang worship had a stronger perceived control. The study concluded that there is a dual path way mechanism in the influence of ritual actions and symbolic meaning on peoples’ perceived control. Ritual actions directly enhance perceived control, while symbolic meaning enhances perceived control through the full mediation of positive emotions. The relationship between symbolic meaning and perceived control is also variant in different ritual subjects. Praying for blessing indirectly enhances adolescents' perceived control through positive emotions, while expressing gratitude indirectly enhances adults' perceived control through positive emotions. The results have important implications for exploring the effects of ritual actions, symbolic meanings, and positive emotions on the individual’s perceived control.

Key words: perceived control, ritual action, symbolic meaning of rituals, positive emotions, Guozhuang worship