Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Trust Your Gut? Study Explores Religion, Morality And Trust In Authority

Date:
September 15, 2009
Source:
Association for Psychological Science
Summary:
Researchers provided a nationally-represented sample of adults with an online survey about the US Supreme Court's ruling on physician-assisted suicide. More religious participants tended to trust the Supreme Court's ability to make the right decision while the group with strong moral convictions felt distrust. And both groups, as it turned out, based their beliefs on a gut reaction rather than on thoughtful, careful deliberation.

In a world filled with dogma, doctrine and discipline, it is accurate to say most of us strive to do what we believe is "right." These convictions and beliefs permeate every aspect of our lives, including education, ethics and even common law.

Psychologists Daniel C. Wisneski, Brad L. Lytle and Linda J. Skitka from the University of Illinois at Chicago explored this interplay of moral convictions and religious beliefs as it relates to our trust in authority. Specifically, the researchers provided a nationally-represented sample of adults--53% female, 72% White, 12% Black and 11% Hispanic--with an online survey about the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling on physician-assisted suicide.

As the findings suggest in a recent issue of Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, the more religious participants tended to trust the Supreme Court's ability to make the right decision while the group with strong moral convictions felt distrust. And both groups, as it turned out, based their beliefs on a gut reaction rather than on thoughtful, careful deliberation.

Participants took a survey designed to measure their support of or opposition to physician-assisted suicide, the extremity of their attitude, their moral convictions, their religiosity, their issue-specific trust in the Supreme Court and the time it took them to answer each question.

Participants who reported feeling strong moral convictions against physician-assisted suicide showed a greater distrust in the Supreme Court to make the right decision, and those who had high scores in religiosity tended to trust the Supreme Court. In addition, both the religious group and the group with strong moral convictions responded quickly to the question of trust in the Supreme Court.

As the authors concluded, people with strong moral convictions seem to not only base their trust in judgment on a gut reaction, "they do not trust even legitimate authorities to make the right decision in the first place."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Association for Psychological Science. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Wisneski et al. Gut Reactions: Moral Conviction, Religiosity, and Trust in Authority. Psychological Science, 2009; 20 (9): 1059 DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9280.2009.02406.x

Cite This Page:

Association for Psychological Science. "Trust Your Gut? Study Explores Religion, Morality And Trust In Authority." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 September 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090914131933.htm>.
Association for Psychological Science. (2009, September 15). Trust Your Gut? Study Explores Religion, Morality And Trust In Authority. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 15, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090914131933.htm
Association for Psychological Science. "Trust Your Gut? Study Explores Religion, Morality And Trust In Authority." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090914131933.htm (accessed April 15, 2014).

Share This



More Science & Society News

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

In Washington, a Push to Sterilize Stray Cats

In Washington, a Push to Sterilize Stray Cats

AFP (Apr. 14, 2014) To curb the growing numbers of feral cats in the US capital, the Washington Humane Society is encouraging residents to set traps and bring the animals to a sterilization clinic, after which they are released.. Duration: 02:29 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
NSA Leaks Net Pulitzer For Guardian, Washington Post

NSA Leaks Net Pulitzer For Guardian, Washington Post

Newsy (Apr. 14, 2014) The Pulitzer Prize for Public Service was awarded to The Washington Post and The Guardian for their work covering the NSA's surveillance programs. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dutch Highway Introduces Glow-In-The-Dark Paint

Dutch Highway Introduces Glow-In-The-Dark Paint

Newsy (Apr. 14, 2014) A Dutch highway has become the first lit by glow-in-the-dark paint — a project aimed at reducing street light use. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
After Attack, Officials Kill 5 Bears in Florida

After Attack, Officials Kill 5 Bears in Florida

AP (Apr. 14, 2014) Florida wildlife officials say they have killed five bears following an attack on a woman in a suburban subdivision in central Florida. Forty-five year-old Terri Frana was attacked by a large bear in her driveway Saturday. (April 14) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins