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Religiosity and Desired Emotions: Belief Maintenance or Prosocial Facilitation?

Authors
  • Vishkin, Allon1
  • Schwartz, Shalom H1
  • Ben-Nun Bloom, Pazit1
  • Solak, Nevin2
  • Tamir, Maya1
  • 1 The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel. , (Israel)
  • 2 TED University, Ankara, Turkey. , (Turkey)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Personality & social psychology bulletin
Publication Date
Jul 01, 2020
Volume
46
Issue
7
Pages
1090–1106
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1177/0146167219895140
PMID: 31906782
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

We assessed how religiosity is related to desired emotions. We tested two competing hypotheses. First, religiosity could be associated with a stronger desire for emotions that strengthen foundational religious beliefs (i.e., more awe and gratitude and less pride). Second, religiosity could be associated with a stronger desire for emotions that promote prosocial engagement (e.g., more love and empathy and less anger and jealousy). Two cross-cultural studies supported the first hypothesis. Religiosity was related to desire for emotions that strengthen religious beliefs, but not to desire for socially engaging or socially disengaging emotions. These findings held across countries and across several different religions. A third study investigating the mechanisms of both hypotheses using structural equation modeling supported only the first hypothesis. This research extends prior work on desired emotions to the domain of religiosity. It demonstrates that the emotions religious people desire may be those that help strengthen their religious beliefs.

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