Cultural religiosity moderates the relationship between perceived societal injustice and satisfaction with one's life

Mohsen Joshanloo, Dan Weijers, Michael Harris Bond

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

Abstract

Mono-cultural studies have demonstrated that individual religiosity buffers the negative relationship between perceived injustice and personal well-being. However, it is unclear whether this relationship holds as strongly across societies with varying levels of cultural religiosity. We argue that higher levels of societal religiosity provide a cultural context that reduces pressure on its members to ameliorate societal injustice and consequently attenuates the link between injustice and an individual's satisfaction with life. To test this hypothesis, we assessed representative citizens from 136 societies with varying levels of religiosity, individual perceptions of societal injustice, and satisfaction with life. Using multi-level modeling on responses from 362,340 respondents, while controlling for societal wealth and societal freedom, we found that the relationship between injustice and life satisfaction was pan-societal but also that it was weaker at higher levels of societal religiosity. We explain this attenuation effect by arguing that sociocultural contexts higher in religiosity provide a worldview and set of value priorities that support their members to disengage from concerns about secular affairs and orient their concerns towards transcendent issues, deriving their satisfaction from less worldly pursuits.

Original languageEnglish
Article number110891
JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
Volume179
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2021

Keywords

  • Individual religiosity
  • Life satisfaction
  • Perceived societal injustice
  • Societal religiosity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)

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