Journal of Happiness Studies

, Volume 7, Issue 1, pp 23–40 | Cite as

Affective Reactions to the Thought of “God”: Moderating Effects of Image of God

  • Katherine E. WiegandEmail author
  • Howard M. Weiss


Recent understanding of subjective well-being suggests that it consists of global judgments of life satisfaction, hedonic experiences, and beliefs about facets of one’s life. Traditionally, life satisfaction judgments have been the outcome of interest in studies examining the relationship between religiosity and well-being. Two studies were conducted to look at the interactive effects of personal religious beliefs, namely God images, and environmental stimuli, particularly priming the thought of “God.” The first study examines hedonic experiences, which is one of the information sources when constructing a well-being judgment. A second study attempts to replicate the findings with life satisfaction ratings. Results of the first study showed that one’s image of God as a controlling or non-controlling entity moderated the affective response to being primed to think about God. In particular, those who had a high controlling image of God had a negative affective reaction to the God prime. Results of the second study replicated the pattern of results using life satisfaction ratings as the dependent variable.


God life satisfaction mood religion subjective well-being 


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Copyright information

© Springer 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyGeorgia Southern UniversityStatesboroUSA

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