Does religion affect people’s basic values?
The research seminar of the ILSCR took place on 17th October. Shalom S сhwartz , the scientific supervisor of the ILSCR, professor of the Hebrew University and the HSE, made a presentation “Does religion affect people’s basic values?”
The report raised one of the crucial questions of social psychology about the understanding of religion’s impact on the aspects of culture and individual characteristics. In his report, S. Schwartz examined the significance of religion’s impact on the individual values as the main principles of life, and the relationship between the level of religiosity and the individual values of the respondents from the different countries.
The study was based on the results of the European Social Survey conducted in 2002-2010. The study involved respondents from 33 countries from 15 to 102 years old, and only those who answered to all questions related to values. The total sample consisted of 198,791 respondents and included Roman Catholics, Protestants, Eastern Orthodox, Muslims, Jewish and people who do not belong to a particular religion.
The snapshots of the value profiles were taken, and the speaker demonstrated differences in the most preferred values among the representatives of different religions. Studies of additional variables showed the differences between values of respondents due to changes in the parameters such as age, gender, the levels of education and religiosity, and the immigrant status. After controlling for additional variables, researchers took the new snapshots of values, and the results showed changes in the hierarchy of preferred values. There was also confusion between countries’ and religious differences which was resolved in comparisons within countries.
In conclusion, the speaker commented main results and added that confession ceases to be a major factor of the differences in the value orientations of the respondents in the different countries. He also added that individuals with a predominance of values of independence and stimulation did not usually consider themselves to any religion. Religion gives people security and traditions which are not necessary to many modern individuals. Based on the main results of the study, the speaker concluded that religion explains the difference in the individual values less than such variables as age, religion, gender, and education.