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Religious people only have self-esteem in religious societies?


From “Are Religious People Better Adjusted Psychologically?” (ScienceDaily, Jan. 20, 2012), we learn,

Psychological research has found that religious people feel great about themselves, with a tendency toward higher social self-esteem and better psychological adjustment than non-believers. But a new study published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, finds that this is only true in countries that put a high value on religion.

“We think you only pat yourself on the back for being religious if you live in a social system that values religiosity,” Gebauer says. So a very religious person might have high social self esteem in religious Poland, but not in non-religious Sweden.

Well, in many places, it’s not really an issue of a self-pat on the back. It’s more like, some “welfare” authority, the police, and/or a mob might be at the door. In that case, one thinks little of self-esteem, more of the help that comes from Another Quarter.

Most studies of religion have focused on harder measures like religion and health.  Surviving a serious illness is hard to fake.

See also: Psychotherapist discovers gratitude – and God


The researchers got their data from eDarling, a European dating site that is affiliated with eHarmony.

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