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Religiosity as social value: replication and extension

Religiosity as social value: replication and extension
Religiosity as social value: replication and extension
Are religious people psychologically better or worse adjusted than their non-religious counterparts? Hundreds of studies have reported a positive relation between religiosity and psychological adjustment. Recently, however, a comparatively small number of cross-cultural studies has questioned this staple of religiosity research. The latter studies find that religious adjustment benefits are restricted to religious cultures. Gebauer, Sedikides, and Neberich (2012b) suggested the religiosity-as-social-value hypothesis (RASV) as one explanation for those cross-cultural differences. RASV states that, in religious cultures, religiosity possesses much social value, and, as such, religious people will feel particularly good about themselves. In secular cultures, however, religiosity possesses limited social value, and, as such, religious people will feel less good about themselves, if at all. Yet, previous evidence has been inconclusive regarding RASV and regarding cross-cultural differences in religious adjustment benefits more generally. To clarify matters, we conducted three replication studies. We examined the relation between religiosity and self-esteem (the most direct and appropriate adjustment indicator, according to RASV) in a self-report study across 65 countries (N = 2,195,301), an informant-report study across 36 countries (N = 560,264), and another self-report study across 1,932 urban areas from 243 federal states in 18 countries (N = 1,188,536). Moreover, we scrutinized our results against seven, previously untested, alternative explanations. Our results fully and firmly replicated and extended prior evidence for cross-cultural differences in religious adjustment benefits. These cross-cultural differences were best explained by the RASV hypothesis.
0022-3514
1-74
Gebauer, Jochen
0ef70e29-12ee-4626-9bad-1847280e2492
Sedikides, Constantine
9d45e66d-75bb-44de-87d7-21fd553812c2
Schonbrodt, Felix D.
23c402ae-9906-4be6-acee-90f044364145
Bleidorn, Wiebke
f456b37b-027f-496c-a109-f4015193529b
Rentfrow, Peter J.
0b5ab680-c89c-40a9-8751-e523470cabb9
Potter, Jeff
d8af9aa3-6449-4e38-a625-dfa2462a027a
Gosling, Samuel D.
f1b8efde-2018-4119-a38e-698f2d0751e6
Gebauer, Jochen
0ef70e29-12ee-4626-9bad-1847280e2492
Sedikides, Constantine
9d45e66d-75bb-44de-87d7-21fd553812c2
Schonbrodt, Felix D.
23c402ae-9906-4be6-acee-90f044364145
Bleidorn, Wiebke
f456b37b-027f-496c-a109-f4015193529b
Rentfrow, Peter J.
0b5ab680-c89c-40a9-8751-e523470cabb9
Potter, Jeff
d8af9aa3-6449-4e38-a625-dfa2462a027a
Gosling, Samuel D.
f1b8efde-2018-4119-a38e-698f2d0751e6

Gebauer, Jochen, Sedikides, Constantine, Schonbrodt, Felix D., Bleidorn, Wiebke, Rentfrow, Peter J., Potter, Jeff and Gosling, Samuel D. (2016) Religiosity as social value: replication and extension Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, pp. 1-74.

Record type: Article

Abstract

Are religious people psychologically better or worse adjusted than their non-religious counterparts? Hundreds of studies have reported a positive relation between religiosity and psychological adjustment. Recently, however, a comparatively small number of cross-cultural studies has questioned this staple of religiosity research. The latter studies find that religious adjustment benefits are restricted to religious cultures. Gebauer, Sedikides, and Neberich (2012b) suggested the religiosity-as-social-value hypothesis (RASV) as one explanation for those cross-cultural differences. RASV states that, in religious cultures, religiosity possesses much social value, and, as such, religious people will feel particularly good about themselves. In secular cultures, however, religiosity possesses limited social value, and, as such, religious people will feel less good about themselves, if at all. Yet, previous evidence has been inconclusive regarding RASV and regarding cross-cultural differences in religious adjustment benefits more generally. To clarify matters, we conducted three replication studies. We examined the relation between religiosity and self-esteem (the most direct and appropriate adjustment indicator, according to RASV) in a self-report study across 65 countries (N = 2,195,301), an informant-report study across 36 countries (N = 560,264), and another self-report study across 1,932 urban areas from 243 federal states in 18 countries (N = 1,188,536). Moreover, we scrutinized our results against seven, previously untested, alternative explanations. Our results fully and firmly replicated and extended prior evidence for cross-cultural differences in religious adjustment benefits. These cross-cultural differences were best explained by the RASV hypothesis.

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Accepted/In Press date: 22 April 2016

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 393348
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/393348
ISSN: 0022-3514
PURE UUID: 26fc715a-ce63-41ca-9c4d-370546b5f068

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Date deposited: 26 Apr 2016 08:47
Last modified: 17 Jul 2017 19:09

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Contributors

Author: Jochen Gebauer
Author: Felix D. Schonbrodt
Author: Wiebke Bleidorn
Author: Peter J. Rentfrow
Author: Jeff Potter
Author: Samuel D. Gosling

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