Journal of Happiness Studies

, Volume 7, Issue 2, pp 139–154 | Cite as

Religiosity, Religious Doubt, and the Need for Cognition: Their Interactive Relationship with Life Satisfaction

  • Kristopher J. Gauthier
  • Andrew N. ChristopherEmail author
  • Mark I. Walter
  • Ronney Mourad
  • Pam Marek


Previous research has found a consistent, negative relationship between holding religious doubts and mental well-being, and a small positive relationship between religiosity and mental well-being. To assess the interrelationship between religious doubt, religiosity, and need for cognition on life satisfaction, a survey was administered to an almost exclusively Christian sample of 192 Americans drawn from undergraduates and alumni of a small mid-western college, undergraduates from a small south-eastern college, and several churches from the metro-Detroit area. Zero-order correlations revealed relationships between religiosity and life satisfaction, as well as religious doubt and life satisfaction. Hierarchical multiple regression analyses revealed that the three-way interaction of religiosity, religious doubt, and the need for cognition was predictive of life satisfaction. Significant two-way interactions also emerged for both gender and religiosity, and gender and religious doubt as predictors of life satisfaction. Based upon these findings, counseling applications are discussed, and the importance of probing for interactions in research on religious influences on well-being is espoused.


need for cognition life satisfaction religion religious doubt 


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Copyright information

© Springer 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kristopher J. Gauthier
    • 1
  • Andrew N. Christopher
    • 1
    Email author
  • Mark I. Walter
    • 1
  • Ronney Mourad
    • 1
  • Pam Marek
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyAlbion CollegeAlbionUSA

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