Religiosity, Spirituality and the Dual-Process Model: Investigating Political Identity as a Moderator

Lockhart, C. (University of Auckland), Sibley, C. (University of Auckland), Osborne, D., (University of Auckland)

Although religiosity and conservatism often go hand-in-hand, some religious beliefs may challenge the status quo. Indeed, spirituality—a religious belief orientation strongly correlated with the value of universalism (i.e., a preference for equality and inclusiveness; Hirsh, Walberg, & Peterson, 2013)—may correlate negatively with conservatism via decreases in the preference for group-based hierarchy (i.e., social dominance orientation; SDO). We investigated this possibility within a national sample of religiously-identified New Zealand adults (N = 7,417). As hypothesized, religious identification correlated positively with conservatism via right-wing authoritarianism (RWA), whereas spiritual identification correlated negatively with conservatism via decreases in SDO. Moreover, political identity centrality strengthened the negative association between spirituality and SDO (as hypothesized), but (unexpectedly) did not moderate the corresponding relationship between religiosity and RWA. Collectively, these results demonstrate that religious and spiritual identification have countervailing associations with conservatism and suggest that political awareness helps to connect some—but not all—religious beliefs to one’s socio-political views.



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Attitudes and Politics