When rock bottom rocks your world: Crisis of belief as a catalyst for change

Daniel W. Snook, Jocelyn J. Bélanger, Mariam Khadeeja, Hana Abu-Ali

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


An experience of severe difficulty can turn the world upside-down, causing individuals to question important beliefs with which they identify. This phenomenon, which we label as Crisis of Belief (COB), amalgamates the disparate conceptualizations of crisis that exist across several subdisciplines of psychology. Unlike existing ideas of crisis, COB distinguishes itself from stress or trauma alone, and is a clearly specified construct that lends itself to practical operationalization and study. Thus, COB addresses a key gap in literature and offers unique value for understanding how hardship that affects closely held beliefs can catalyze change. We conclude by describing the potential utility of COB as a predictor of both positive (e.g., life satisfaction) and negative (e.g., depression) outcomes and the pressing need for a validated measure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere12730
JournalSocial and Personality Psychology Compass
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2023


  • belief
  • belief change
  • crisis
  • crisis of belief
  • stress
  • trauma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology


Dive into the research topics of 'When rock bottom rocks your world: Crisis of belief as a catalyst for change'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this