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The Need to Belong Can Motivate Belief in God

Gebauer, Jochen E. and Maio, Gregory Richard ORCID: 2012. The Need to Belong Can Motivate Belief in God. Journal of Personality 80 (2) , pp. 465-501. 10.1111/j.1467-6494.2011.00730.x

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The need to belong can motivate belief in God. In Study 1, 40 undergraduates read bogus astrophysics articles “proving” God's existence or not offering proof. Participants in the proof-for-God condition reported higher belief in God (compared to control) when they chronically imagined God as accepting but lower belief in God when they imagined God as rejecting. Additionally, in Study 2 (72 undergraduates), these effects did not occur when participants’ belongingness need was satisfied by priming close others. Study 3 manipulated 79 Internet participants’ image of God. Chronic believers in the God-is-rejecting condition reported lower religious behavioral intentions than chronic believers in the God-is-accepting condition, and this effect was mediated by lower desires for closeness with God. In Study 4 (106 Internet participants), chronic believers with an accepting image of God reported that their belief in God is motivated by belongingness needs.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
ISSN: 0022-3506
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2022 09:09

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