Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Divine intervention? New research looks at beliefs about God's influence in everyday life

Date:
March 9, 2010
Source:
University of Toronto
Summary:
Most Americans believe God is concerned with their personal well-being and is directly involved in their personal affairs, according to new research.

Most Americans believe God is concerned with their personal well-being and is directly involved in their personal affairs, according to new research out of the University of Toronto.

Using data from two recent national surveys of Americans, UofT Sociology Professor Scott Schieman examined peoples' beliefs about God's involvement and influence in everyday life. His research discovers new patterns about these beliefs and the ways they differ across education and income levels.

Schieman's study, published in the March issue of the journal Sociology of Religion, also highlights the following findings:

Overall, most people believe that God is highly influential in the events and outcomes in their lives. Specifically:

  • 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."
  • Overall, 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.

According to Schieman: "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."

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."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Toronto. The original article was written by April Kemick. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Scott Schieman. Socioeconomic Status and Beliefs about God's Influence in Everyday Life. Sociology of Religion, 2010; DOI: 10.1093/socrel/srq004

Cite This Page:

University of Toronto. "Divine intervention? New research looks at beliefs about God's influence in everyday life." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 March 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100309131758.htm>.
University of Toronto. (2010, March 9). Divine intervention? New research looks at beliefs about God's influence in everyday life. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100309131758.htm
University of Toronto. "Divine intervention? New research looks at beliefs about God's influence in everyday life." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100309131758.htm (accessed July 30, 2014).

Share This




More Science & Society News

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Climate Change Could Cost Billions, According To White House

Climate Change Could Cost Billions, According To White House

Newsy (July 29, 2014) A report from the White House warns not curbing greenhouse gas emissions could cost the U.S. billions. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Climate Change Could Cost Billions According To White House

Climate Change Could Cost Billions According To White House

Newsy (July 29, 2014) A report from the White House warns not curbing greenhouse gas emissions could cost the U.S. billions. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
It's Not Just Facebook: OKCupid Experiments With Users Too

It's Not Just Facebook: OKCupid Experiments With Users Too

Newsy (July 29, 2014) If you've been looking for love online, there's a chance somebody has been looking at how you're looking. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Your Face Can Leave A Good Or Bad First Impression

How Your Face Can Leave A Good Or Bad First Impression

Newsy (July 29, 2014) Researchers have found certain facial features can make us seem more attractive or trustworthy. Video provided by Newsy
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