alexa Why are religious people happy? The effect of the social norm of religiosity across countries.
Bioinformatics & Systems Biology

Bioinformatics & Systems Biology

Journal of Phylogenetics & Evolutionary Biology

Author(s): Stavrova O, Fetchenhauer D, Schlsser T, Stavrova O, Fetchenhauer D, Schlsser T

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Abstract Drawing on social norms theories, we suggest that religiosity substantially increases subjective well-being if it is considered normative in a certain national context. In Study 1, we test this hypothesis using an indicator of a country's social norm of religiosity that includes both the national level of religiosity and the social desirability of religion. The results of a multilevel regression analysis suggest that religious individuals are on average happier and more satisfied with life than non-religious individuals. This effect is stronger in religious countries with dominant negative attitudes towards non-believers. In Study 2, we further examine whether the differences in social recognition of religious and non-religious individuals in countries where religiosity is normative account for this finding. The results of a moderated mediation analysis indicate that in religious countries, religious people report being treated with more respect, which partially explains their higher levels of happiness and life satisfaction. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. This article was published in Soc Sci Res and referenced in Journal of Phylogenetics & Evolutionary Biology

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