Religious people only live longer in religious cultural contexts: A gravestone analysis

Ebert, Tobias ; Gebauer, Jochen E. ; Talman, Jildou R. ; Rentfrow, Peter J.

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Document Type: Article
Year of publication: 2020
The title of a journal, publication series: Journal of Personality and Social Psychology
Volume: 119
Issue number: 1
Page range: 1-6
Place of publication: Washington, DC
Publishing house: American Psychological Association
ISSN: 0022-3514 , 1939-1315
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Publication language: English
Institution: Außerfakultäre Einrichtungen > Mannheim Centre for European Social Research - Research Department A
Subject: 300 Social sciences, sociology, anthropology
Abstract: Religious people live longer than nonreligious people, according to a staple of social science research. Yet, are those longevity benefits an inherent feature of religiosity? To find out, we coded gravestone inscriptions and imagery to assess the religiosity and longevity of 6,400 deceased people from religious and nonreligious U.S. counties. We show that in religious cultural contexts, religious people lived 2.2 years longer than did nonreligious people. In nonreligious cultural contexts, however, religiosity conferred no such longevity benefits. Evidently, a longer life is not an inherent feature of religiosity. Instead, religious people only live longer in religious cultural contexts where religiosity is valued. Our study answers a fundamental question on the nature of religiosity and showcases the scientific potential of gravestone analyses.

Dieser Eintrag ist Teil der Universitätsbibliographie.

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