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?
- World Did NOT End On 29th July! AWFUL "Silly Season" Story - Journalists Please Be More Responsible
- Why An Extra Planet Can't Be Hidden Behind The Sun Or Above The South Pole
- My Applied National Security Paper. Being President Isn't For Idiots.
- Why Do Consumers Participate In 'green' Programs?
- Hugh Hefner's Wife Was Not Poisoned By Breast Implants
- Mind The (Risk Perception) Gap On BPA
- SYRINA: A Trojan Horse For Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals?
- "hey Alex,yeah ok...."
- "You mean, is it edible?Yes it is. Though the digestibility of the oil has not yet been studied..."
- "Quark colors are considered in the framework of the SM weak interactions for the first time. In..."
- "Yes absolutely. Nobody has predicted any astronomical event successfully from the Bible. And it..."
- "so this vídeo armageddon News is fake???..."
- Tracking how HIV disrupts immune system informs vaccine development
- Green monkeys acquired Staphylococcus aureus from humans
- Researchers find molecular switch that triggers bacterial pathogenicity
- Scientists identify immunological profiles of people who make powerful HIV antibodies
- Breastfeeding associated with better brain development and neurocognitive outcomes