Ahamkara: A study on the Indian model of self and identity [post]

Kriti Gupta, Jyotsna Agrawal
2020 unpublished
Ideas around self and identity are at the core of various reflective traditions in both East and West. In the psychological literature, they have multiple meanings. However, they usually reflect the idea of self-sameness across changing time. The current study aimed to explore various ways in which contemporary Indians define their 'self' and if there were any parallel between modern and traditional construal of self. An open-ended Twenty Statements Test (TST) was used along with a quantitative
more » ... measure Ahamkara Questionnaire (AQ) based on an Indian model of self, known as 'ahamkara'. A sample of 240 educated, adults (Females=104, Males= 136; Mean age= 38.17 years, SD=11.45 years; range 20-60 years) were purposively selected from an urban area of North India and recruited in this mixed-method, cross-sectional research study. Thematic analysis of TST responses uncovered five broad thematic categories in self-concepts: Individuality, Belongingness, Separation, Agency and Spiritual/Transpersonal. Four of them overlapped with sub-components of 'ahamkara'. They also differed with age where Spiritual/Transpersonal theme was frequent in self-concepts of older samples. Quantitative results from AQ also indicated that the level of ahamkara significantly differed with age and gender. These findings have implications for mental health and developing interventions utilising Indian conception of self.
doi:10.31231/osf.io/tz4pu fatcat:7ktpgcz625d6zdpu43skllinau