Using data from two recent national surveys, University of Toronto sociologist Scott Schieman has found that most Americans believe God is concerned with their well-being and is directly involved in their personal affairs.
The research, he says, uncovered the ways these beliefs about divine intervention differ across education and income levels. The results are published in Sociology of Religion.
Overall, the study found that most people believe that God is highly influential in the events and outcomes in their lives. 82 per cent say they depend on God for help and guidance in making decisions; 71 per cent believe that when good or bad things happen, these occurrences are simply part of God's plan for them; 61 per cent believe that God has determined the direction and course of their lives; 32 per cent agree with the statement: "There is no sense in planning a lot because ultimately my fate is in God's hands."
People who have more education and higher income are less likely to report beliefs in divine intervention. However, among the well-educated and higher earners, those who are more involved in religious rituals share similar levels of beliefs about divine intervention as their less-educated and less financially well-off peers.
"Many of us might assume that people of higher social class standing tend to reject beliefs about divine intervention. However, my findings indicate that while this is true among those less committed to religious life, it is not the case for people who are more committed to religious participation and rituals," Schieman says
He adds: "This study extends sociological inquiry into the ways that people of different social strata think about God's influence in everyday life. Given the frequency of God talk in American culture, especially in some areas of political discourse, this is an increasingly important area for researchers to document, describe, and interpret."
Citation: Scott Schieman, 'Socioeconomic Status and Beliefs about God's Influence in Everyday Life', Sociology of Religion, February 2010; doi:10.1093/socrel/srq004
- PHYSICAL SCIENCES
- EARTH SCIENCES
- LIFE SCIENCES
- SOCIAL SCIENCES
Subscribe to the newsletter
Stay in touch with the scientific world!
Know Science And Want To Write?
- Wait, Let's Not Rush To Be Multiplanetary Or Interstellar - A Comment On Elon Musk's Vision
- Bizarre Forelimb Evolution In Ancient Drepanosaurus Fossil
- Ground Squirrels Use The Sun To Hide Food
- Heal Non-Healing Wounds With Cold Plasma
- How 'Super Aging' Seniors Retain Youthful Memory Abilities
- The Social Psychology of Presidential Election Polls, Part 1 of 2
- Vitamin D Could Help Control TB In Animals
- "No, no cause for concern at all :). It's just a new moon, such as happens once a month. When the..."
- "Nice quote! I googled around for this a bit more and stumbled on a graph that showed earth's energy..."
- "hey robert you ta knowing that tomorrow will be a phenomenon on the moon called black moon ???..."
- "Oh, that's a really interesting point, hadn't thought of that. I agree! Perhaps the most advanced..."
- "Yes that's what I'm saying :). If you want more reassurance do message me on quora, quite a few..."
- Single-celled fungi multiply, alien-like, by fusing cells in host
- 51 U.S. House Members Urges DEA To Delay "Hasty" Ban On Natural Herbal Supplement Kratom
- Women are a quarter of the 1 percent
- Wetlands and agriculture, not fossil fuels, behind the global rise in methane
- Mass immigration is correlated to higher levels of crime, but not causal