Education and the Importance of Religion in Decision Making: Do Other Dimensions of Religiousness Matter?
Article first published online: 1 SEP 2011
© 2011 The Society for the Scientific Study of Religion
Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion
Volume 50, Issue 3, pages 570–587, September 2011
How to Cite
Schieman, S. (2011), Education and the Importance of Religion in Decision Making: Do Other Dimensions of Religiousness Matter?. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 50: 570–587. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-5906.2011.01583.x
- Issue published online: 1 SEP 2011
- Article first published online: 1 SEP 2011
- socioeconomic status;
- religious involvement;
- biblical literalism
The relationship between education and the importance of religion in everyday decision making is examined using data from two national surveys of American adults. People who have higher levels of education are less likely to rely on the Bible and the teachings of their place of worship for guidance in their decision making. However, previously undocumented contingencies attenuate the effect of education: (1) attending religious services regularly; (2) involvement in religious activities; (3) praying more frequently; (4) believing in the literal interpretation of the Bible; and (5) greater certainty in one's personal faith. These patterns hold net of income, which is also negatively associated with religious-based decision making—and only the socially integrative aspects of religiousness attenuate that association.