A Peek into Cross-Cultural Psychology: The relevance of cultural religiosity for well-being and longevity

16.03.2021 - 15:30 to 17:00
Location : 
Online via Zoom
Type of Event : 
AB A-Kolloquium
Dr. Tobias Ebert & Jana Berkessel
Lecturer affiliation: 
Universität Mannheim

The aim of this talk is to give a broad insight into current research from the lab for Cross-Cultural Social and Personality Psychology at the MZES. To this end, we will present two series of studies focusing on a cultural dimension that is frequently studied by sociologist, but often neglected in psychological research: cultural religiosity. The first series of studies focuses on the relationship between cultural religiosity and well-being. In contrast to a longstanding tenet, empirical research shows that the detriments of lower SES are lightest in developing countries. Using three large-scale cross-cultural datasets, we show that national religiosity can explain this puzzling finding: Developing nations are more religious and therefore uphold religious norms that ease the burden of lower SES and cast a bad light on higher SES. In the second series of studies, we use a big data approach to study the relationship between cultural religiosity and longevity. According to a longstanding tenet, religious people generally live longer lives than non-religious people. We analysed more than 200,000 gravestone pictures and 40,000 obituaries from different areas in the U.S. Our results suggest that a longer life is not an inherent feature of being religious. Rather, religiosity’s longevity benefits only seem to occur in religious cultural contexts. Together, our studies highlight cultural religiosity as an impactful cross-cultural dimension, whose neglect in psychological research is an oversight.