Religiosity Reduces the Negative Influence of Injustice on Subjective Well-being: A Study in 121 Nations
National injustice has been linked to lower national happiness. We predict that national religiosity will mitigate this negative influence of injustice on happiness. We test this hypothesis analyzing national-level data from 121 nations, using a single-level moderated regression analysis. To capture various aspects of national injustice, we combine four national measures associated with injustice, namely: indexes of group grievances, political terror, rule of law, and corruption perceptions. The results show that national religiosity has a significant moderating effect on the relationship between injustice and happiness, such that higher levels of religiosity mitigate more of the negative effects of injustice on happiness than lower levels do. The results hold when religious affiliation and indexes of economic prosperity, education, and social support are controlled for. These results indicate that people in religious cultures may successfully utilize religious faith to deal with adverse conditions.
KeywordsInjustice Religiosity Subjective well-being Happiness Culture
- Aiken, L. S., & West, S. G. (1991). Multiple regression: Testing and interpreting interactions. Newbury Park: Sage.Google Scholar
- Association of Religion Data Archives (2011). Cross-National Socio-Economic and Religion Data. Obtained from http://www.thearda.com/Archive/Files/Descriptions/ECON11.asp.
- Campbell, A., Converse, P. E., & Rodgers, W. L. (1976). The quality of American life. New York: Russell Sage.Google Scholar
- Diener, E., Suh, E. M., Kim-Prieto, C., Biswas-Diener, R., & Tay, L. S. (2010). Unhappiness in South Korea: Why it is high and what might be done about it. Seoul: Korean Psychological Association.Google Scholar
- Exline, J. J., & Martin, A. (2005). Anger toward God: A new frontier in forgiveness research. In E. L. Worthington Jr. (Ed.), Handbook of forgiveness (pp. 73–88). New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Fund for Peace (2012). Index of group grievances. Obtained from http://global.fundforpeace.org.
- Gibney, M., Cornett, L., Wood, R., & Haschke, P., (2011). Political terror scale. Obtained from: http://www.politicalterrorscale.org.
- Johnson, E. H. (1990). The deadly emotions: The role of anger, hostility, and aggression in health and emotional well-being. New York: Praeger Publishers.Google Scholar
- Kierkegaard, S. (1843/1955). Fear and trembling and the sickness unto death. Doubleday.Google Scholar
- Layard, R. (2005). Happiness: Lessons from a new science. New York: The Penguin Group.Google Scholar
- Legatum Institute (2012). The 2012 Legatum prosperity index: Methodology and technical appendix. Retrieved from: http://www.prosperity.com.
- Maes, J., Schmitt, M., Lischetzke, T., & Schmiedemann, V. (1998). Effects of experienced injustice in unified Germany on well-being and mental health. Gerechtigkeit als innerdeutsches Problem. Retrieved from: http://psydok.sulb.uni-saarland.de/volltexte/2004/165/pdf/beri110.pdf.
- Meisenberg, G., Rindermann, H., Patel, H., & Woodley, M. A. (2012). Is it smart to believe in God? The relationship of religiosity with education and intelligence. Temas, 20(1), 101–120.Google Scholar
- Pargament, K. I., & Cummings, J. (2010). Anchored by faith. In J. W. Reich, A. J. Zautra, & J. S. Hall (Eds.), Handbook of adult resilience (pp. 193–210). New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
- Pargament, K. I., Tarakeshwar, N., Ellison, C. G., & Wulff, K. M. (2001). Religious coping among the religious: the relationships between religious coping and well‐being in a national sample of Presbyterian clergy, elders, and members. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 40(3), 497–513.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Pargament, K. I., Murray-Swank, N. A., Magyar, G. M., & Ano, G. G. (2005). Spiritual struggle: A phenomenon of interest to psychology and religion. In W. R. Miller & H. D. Delaney (eds.), Judeo-Christian perspectives on psychology: Human nature, motivation, and change (pp. 245–268). American Psychological Association.Google Scholar
- Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life. (2007). U.S. Religious Landscape Survey. Retrieved from: http://religions.pewforum.org/reports .
- Senik, C. (2009). Income distribution and subjective happiness: A survey. Social Employment and Migration Working Papers No. 96. OECD Publishing.Google Scholar
- Soper, D. S. (2013). Interaction (version 126.96.36.199) [Computer Program]. California State University, Fullerton.Google Scholar
- Taylor, S. E. (2011). Social support: A review. In A. Baum, T. A. Revenson, & J. Singer (Eds.), The handbook of health psychology (second edition, pp 189–214). Psychology Press.Google Scholar
- Transparency International (2012). The corruption perceptions index. Obtained from http://www.transparency.org/.
- Veenhoven, R. (2004). The greatest happiness principle: Happiness as an aim in public policy. In A. Linley & S. Joseph (Eds.), Positive psychology in practice. Hoboken: John Wiley and Sons.Google Scholar
- Worldwide Governance Indicators Project (2011). Rule of Law. Obtained from http://info.worldbank.org/governance/wgi/index.aspx#home.