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Always Look on the Bright Side of Life: Religiosity, Emotion Regulation and Well-Being in a Jewish and Christian Sample

  • Allon Vishkin
  • Pazit Ben-Nun Bloom
  • Maya Tamir
Research Paper
  • 357 Downloads

Abstract

People who are more religious tend to experience more positive affect and higher levels of life satisfaction. Current explanations for this relation include social support, meaning in life, and more positive emotional experiences. Adding cognitive reappraisal as a new mechanism, we propose that religion consistently trains people to reappraise emotional events, making the devout more effective in applying this emotion regulation practice, which cultivates more positive affect and greater life satisfaction. In two studies, involving Israeli Jewish (N = 288) and American Christian (N = 277) participants, we found that more frequent use of cognitive reappraisal mediated the relationship between religiosity and affective experiences, which in turn, were associated with greater life satisfaction. Religiosity was associated with more frequent cognitive reappraisal (in both samples) and less frequent expressive suppression (in the Christian sample). Cognitive reappraisal mediated the link between religiosity and positive affect (in both samples) as well as negative affect (in the Christian sample). We discuss implications for understanding the link between religion and emotional well-being.

Keywords

Religion Emotion Emotion regulation Life satisfaction Well-being 

Supplementary material

10902_2017_9956_MOESM1_ESM.docx (159 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (docx 160 KB)

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyThe Hebrew University of JerusalemJerusalemIsrael

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