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Does God Matter? Religion in Individualistic and Collectivistic Personalities

24 July 2009


This research project examined the extent to which an individual’s religion, or lack thereof, impacted their scores on the Individualism Collectivism Scale (Singelis, Triandis, Bhawuk, & Gelfand, 1995). This study drew 205 mostly Caucasian participants, who were diverse in terms of gender, income, and education. Data were gathered via online survey, which gathered responses to a demographic form, Religious Practices Questionnaire, and Individualism Collectivism Scale (Singelis, et al., 1995). Researchers hypothesized that: (1) Religious samples would score as more collectivistic than a secular sample; (2) Catholic and Jewish samples would emerge as more collectivistic than a Protestant sample; (3) as the frequency of public and personal religious activity, and religious centrality increases, collectivism scores would increase, and individualism scores decrease. Results indicated that Protestant participants had significantly lower individualism scores than Jewish and Catholic participants. Non-religious participants also had significantly lower collectivism scores than Protestant and Catholic participants. Implications regarding the generalizability of the results, as well as ideas for future research are discussed within the manuscript.


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