When It Comes to Building Trust, Belonging Beats Belief, Study Finds

Using data from the General Social Survey, Rubia Valente, assistant professor at Baruch College, and Adam Okulicz-Kozaryn of Rutgers University isolated two aspects of religion: individual religiosity, with a focus on prayer and belief in God, versus social religiosity, measured by attendance at services or membership in a religious group. They found higher levels of belief predicted less trust, while higher levels of belonging predicted more trust. They also found that those who belong to religious groups or attend services have a lower level of misanthropy, or dislike of other people.


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