Intrinsic Religiousness Can Buffer Against Cognitive Dissonance in Response to Existential Threats

“This research came out of a grant funded by The John Templeton Foundation on how people make meaning and relate to God following disasters. We thought that disasters often challenge what people believe about God, creating religious cognitive dissonance,” explained lead researcher Daryl R. Van Tongeren, an associate professor of psychology at Hope College. “That is, many people likely view God as benevolent and protecting, but disasters can shatter that assumption; but not everyone experiences dissonance. We wanted to investigate who might be better able to integrate their experiences.”

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