Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 1

Brittany Nguyen PID: 2889684 and Anjanette Santiago PID: 1951331 Florida International University

Faith and Fate

Nataional Total Jews Hindus Orthodox Other Christians Buddhists Mainline Churches Unaffilliated Catholic Other Faiths Muslims Mormons Evangelical Churches Jehovah's Witness Historically Black Churches 0% 31% 14% 9% 20% 29% 25% 25% 29% 31% 28% 10%

22% 11% 15% 24% 21% 19% 21% 23% 20% 25% 35% 24% 21% 22% 24% 42% 47% 23% 17% 18% 17% 22% 16% 13% 12%


2008 Self-Described Religious Identification of Adult Population (In the Thousandths)

13% 46% 43% 13% 13% 17% 15% 28%




16% 16% 16% 15%

13% 14% 13% 10% 16% 18% 17% 11% 9% 12% 70% 80%


26% 34%

23% 22% 21% 19% 19% 18% 16% 16% 13% 7% 90% 9% 8% 100%

Less then $30,000 $30,000-$49,999 $50,000-$74,999 $75,000-$99,999 $100,000 +

26% 30% 40% 50% 60%



4% Christian, total \2 Evangelical/Born Again \3 3% Nondenominational \3 Other Religions, total \2 No Religion specified, total \2 1% Other No Religion \4 Refused to reply to question

Nataional Total Orthodox Mainline Churches Other Christians Hindus Unaffilliated Other Faiths Jehovah's Witness Jews Buddhists Muslims Mormons Historically Black Churches Evangelical Churches Catholic 0%

14% 4% 3% 3% 7% 12% 6% 9% 13% 21% 9% 17% 16% 19% 19% 10% 20% 30% 30% 26% 34% 34% 12% 19% 23% 25% 22% 10%

36% 26% 19% 26% 28% 27% 22% 24% 24% 32% 32% 36% 40% 40% 51% 40% 50% 24%

23% 48%

16% 35%


22% 18% 20% 28% 20% 16% 23% 21% 24% 25% 22% 60% 70% 80% 14% 18% 16%

26% 21% 20% 18% 14% 13% 10% 10% 10% 7% 5% 6% 3% 100% Less than Highschool Highschool Graduate Some College College Graduate Post-graduate

13% 11% 90%


Nataional Total Orthodox Mainline Churches Other Christians Hindus Unaffilliated Other Faiths Jehovah's Witness Jews Buddhists Muslims Mormons Historically Black Churches Evangelical Churches Catholic 0% 10%

54% 46% 44% 79% 45% 60% 57% 49% 53% 58% 71% 58% 33% 57% 59% 20% 30% 40% 50% 6% 16% 10% 1% 8% 10% 9%

6% 12% 15% 12% 0% 6% 14% 3% 7% 11% 5% 5% 60%

12% 4% 5%

8% 28% 26% 2% 31% 28%


0% 4% 9% 3% 9% 19% 9% 3% 10% 12% 13% 70% 11% 7% 9% 8% 8%


14% Married 19% 15% 20% 22% Living with Partner Divorce or Separated Widowed 12% 17% Never Married


5% 34%

11% 9% 80% 90%

15% 14% 100%

Faith is not something that is chosen at birth but is something that is thrust upon us by parents and relatives, the government, our friends, and even our own personal history. In the U.S., religion is a personal choice, but most people tend to stick to the religion provided by their parents. Parents, with the best intentions, teach their religion so that we may have the same moral guidance that they do. And yet most people never consider the repercussions that the teaching or even following of a certain religion can have outside of moral decisions. In todays America, most people consider themselves to b e primarily secular in terms of major life decisions, but no one can deny that faith or lack thereof can have a profound effect on who your friends are, which college to go to, where to buy a house, and even who leads our country. It seems that whether we discuss it in religious terms or not, the gods people choose to believe in affect not only individual decisions but our choices as a society. Even with this understanding, most of us still choose a religion based on something intangible: faith, a feeling, or a presence, which (as a matter of faith) can never be confirmed in any kind of rational way. What if it is in this irrational aspect of American life that many of us find our folly? What if a person can lead a more successful life simply by following the teachings of one faith versus another? Is there any hard evidence to suggest that faith can impact more than just morality in ones life? Could a parent greatly impact their child educational prowess or overall wealth just by raising them to believe i n different gods, and will this mean they are more likely to be happy? It seems clear that although for most people, religion is a deeply personal choice, there could be some corporeal things to consider. Could your god actually be holding you back from being truly happy?

The data in this project was gathered primarily through secondary methods in the form of literary research and review as well as the organization and analysis of survey data. The survey of self-described religious identification was based on random-digit-dialing telephone surveys of residential households in the continental U.S.A (48 states): 54,461 interviews in 2008. Respondents were asked to describe themselves in terms of religion with an open-ended question. Interviewers did not prompt or offer a suggested list of potential answers. Moreover, the self-description of respondents was not based on whether established religious bodies, institutions, churches, mosques or synagogues considered them to be members. Instead, the surveys sought to determine whether the respondents regarded themselves as adherents of a religious community. The U.S. Religious Landscape Survey completed telephone interviews with a nationally representative sample of 35,556 adults living in continental United States telephone households. The survey was conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International (PSRAI). Interviews were done in English and Spanish by Princeton Data Source, LLC (PDS), and Schulman, Ronca and Bucuvalas, Inc. (SRBI), from May 8 to Aug. 13, 2007. Statistical results are weighted to correct known demographic discrepancies.

In the article Atheistic, agnostic, and religious older adults on well-being and coping behaviors, researchers found that previous research reports relationships between religion and both well-being and positive coping, especially among the older adult age group. However, this previous research had failed to consider the non-religious when comparing groups categorized by religious belief, ignoring possible differences between those with beliefs and the non-religious, atheists, and agnostics. To explore possible differences, the articles research gathers data from a sample of 134 religious and non -religious older adults (55 years old and up) who completed an online questionnaire assessing relationships between religiosity and well-being, social support, locus of control, and meaning in life. Belief groups, including atheists, agnostics, and those high and low in religious beliefs, were compared on coping behaviors. The religious groups did not significantly differ from atheists and agnostics on well-being, satisfaction with social support, or locus of control; however, the high religiosity group did endorse higher levels of presence of meaning in life than the atheists as well as a greater number of social supports compared to the non-religious groups. The groups significantly differed on their use of religious coping, and differences approached significance on the groups utilization of humor and substances as coping mechanisms. The religious groups endorsed religious-oriented coping at significantly greater rates, whereas the atheists endorsed a greater use of substances to cope than the other three groups. In the article The Religion Paradox: If Religion Makes People Happy, Why are So Many Dropping Out? the main focus is that researchers found that religious people, on average, report higher subjective well-being and also have less psychosocial pathology such as domestic abuse. Yet people are rapidly leaving organized religion in economically developed nations where religious freedom is high.There was an interaction underlying the general trend such that the association of religion and well-being is conditional on societal circumstances. In the first-ever representative sample of the world and a representative sample of the United States, researchers also found widespread religiosity but also large variability between nations and states. For example, nations and states with more difficult life conditions (e.g., widespread hunger and low life expectancy) were much more likely to be highly religious. In these nations, religiosity was associated with greater social support, respect, purpose or meaning, and all three types of subjective well being. In societies with more favorable circumstances, religiosity is less prevalent, and religious and nonreligious individuals experience similar levels of subjective well-being. There was also a personculture fit effect such that religious people had higher subjective well-being in religious nations but not in nonreligious nations. Thus, it appears that the benefits of religion for social relationships and subjective well-being is dependent on the characteristics of the society. In this sampling of articles, it is clear that although many different researchers agree that religion generally makes people happier, the cause is muddled. In the larger sampling of articles, what was discovered was that this is true abroad not only in many different studies but across different countries, races, and economic levels. The only constant is that it appears that religion leads to a better subjective feeling of life satisfaction, but this leaves us no closer to identifying the true correlation or whether some religions are truly happier than others.

Bearing this in mind, using the data collected, certain distinctions are immediately evident. The first distinction is the percentage of Jews and Hindus earning over one hundred thousand dollars a year versus the national average of people earning that amount. Along with this is the percentage of historically black churches making less than thirty thousand dollars a year versus the national average. Based on these numbers alone, one could surmise that religion has a big impact on wealth. That said, even basic sociological research shows that race has much more to do with wealth than religion, so in the case of wealth changing, religions may not have much effect because black people appear not to be in a place to be able to benefit from the teachings of another religion. Educational attainment data shows similar finding with Jews and Hindus having the highest percentage of college and post-college graduates, while historically black churches hold the highest percentage of high school graduates who did not graduate from college. Religion plays a crucial role in educational attainment, probably much more than it does in wealth. The teachings of Judaism and Hinduism both place a high moral value on the attainment of knowledge for its own sake. Both of these religions seek not only to attain but also catalog and spread knowledge, historically as well as currently. That said, while historically having more knowledge led to financial gain in the U.S., today, a higher level of education is usually more highly linked to greater wealth. In this way, it is clear that the teaching of Hinduism and Judaism can lead to success. When it comes to marital status, the data is once again muddled. The data seems to suggest that there is not much variance among the religions or among religion and the national average. However, for people in historically black churches, the likelihood of being married is much less, and the likelihood of never marrying is much more, than the national average. Again, basic sociology dictates that this is about race and not religion. Black people are less likely to marry overall versus any other group of people, so it is probably race and not religion that has a large impact on marital success. This data, along with largely inconsistent reasoning for why religion makes people happier, leads to little being discerned about the correlation between religion and success. Furthermore, much of this data only reflects a disparity in success among races, not religions. Knowing this, what information can be extracted from that data?

In a word: inconclusive. The main purpose of our research was to explore the relationship between religion and success/life satisfaction. We explored the mediating role of social interest in the relationship between the components of religion and wellness as well as mean differences across religious groups. Unfortunately, what we have discovered is that religion is only a single, and in some cases, a minor factor in determining success. Although the goals of certain religions can also be beneficial for life in the U.S., many of the benefits can be minimal compared to more prominent factors such as race, gender, age, and socioeconomic class at birth. That said, religious people are generally happier than the non-religious, so for people already in advantageous positions, some religions can provide certain benefits that other religions cannot. This final result does support our original thesis of religion needing to be something more rationally considered, though to a much lesser degree than we once thought. The greatest result of our research is the need for further research. What we have discovered is that much of what leads to success/life satisfaction is quantitative. Future research should begin by quantifying success across race, gender, socioeconomic class at birth, general health, and desirable physical characteristics such as blonde hair and blue eyes. By including this data along with religion, income, education, and marital status, we could have a more complete picture of how people should aspire in order to be successful or, in a more ideological world, where certain imbalances already exist in our society so that help can be provided on a more realistic level for those who need it.
Diener, Ed; Tay, Louis; Myers, David G. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Vol 101(6), Dec 2011, 1278-1290. Sheena M. Horning, Hasker P. Davis, Michael Stirrat, R. Elisabeth Cornwell, Atheistic, agnostic, and religious older adults on well-being and coping behaviors, Journal of Aging Studies, Volume 25, Issue 2, April 2011, Pages 177-188 The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life , (2007).Educational Distribution of Religious Tradition. Retrieved from Pew Research Center website: http://religions.pewforum.org/pdf/comparison-Educational Distribution of Religious Traditions.pdf The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life , (2007).Income distribution of religious tradition. Retrieved from Pew Research Center website: http://religions.pewforum.org/pdf/comparison-Income Distribution of Religious Traditions.pdf The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life , (2007).Marital status amoung religious tradition. Retrieved from Pew Research Center website: http://religions.pewforum.org/pdf/comparison-Marital Status Among Religious Traditions.pdf U.S. Department of Commerce, United States Census Bureau. (2008). Self-described religious identification of adult population: 1990, 2001 and 2008 (Table 75). Retrieved from American Religious Identification Survey (ARIS) website: http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/cats/population/religion.htm Wilkins, Amy C. Happier than Non-Christians: Collective Emotions and Symbolic Boundaries among Evangelical Christians Social P sychology Quarterly September 2008 71: 281-301

Literary Support.
The article Happier than Non-Christians: Collective Emotions and Symbolic Boundaries among Evangelical Christians uses qualitative data (participant-observation and interviews) to examine happiness. Unity Christians in this article claim that they are happier than non-Christians, but rather than viewing their happiness as a mental health outcome of their participation in a religious organization, they view their happiness as a cultural phenomenon--a way of talking and thinking about their emotions. The study shows how participants learn to think of themselves as happy, learn to adjust their emotional responses and view their managed emotions as authentic, and learn to link happiness to their moral selves. Their emotional response helps participants achieve happiness, but because they also disallow any negative emotions, such happiness is compulsory. In turn, happiness is a symbolic boundary--participants see themselves as happier (and more authentically so) than others, but this feeling is also material in the crafting of more complex moral boundaries in which happiness is both a sign and a cause of other kinds of goodness. Happiness is an effective boundary not just because Christians themselves want to be happy but because most members of the middle class want to be happy, and because they build on broader associations between happiness and morality. Inasmuch as happiness signals morality, unhappiness signals immorality.

The first and most difficult things to determine are the components of success and what leads to life satisfaction. Thankfully, our project does not intend to delve into what success means or is to all the different people of the world, so this question was side-stepped in favor of generic markers of success. Average Americans of average intelligence would list the markers of success as: being wealthy, being educated, being in a relationship, and being happy. It should also be noted that in terms of life satisfaction, the average American also listed health, but this aspect could not be measured in any reasonable way. The second thing that most Americans will already note is the overwhelming majority held by Christians in the U.S. This fact means that any results might be skewed due to the fact that there are three times as many Christians as the next largest group. For this reason, it is difficult to speak about Christians because there are so many more people in that group, and they may or may not be successful for any variety of reasons, whereas American Hindus may or may not be successful for reasons more easily attributed to their faith.