Religion’s Profound Influences on Psychology: Morality, Intergroup Relations, Self-Construal, and Enculturation

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28 Scopus citations


Religion affects psychological processes in many important ways and is the subject of increasing attention on the part of psychologists. I discuss four reasons why religion is important, including that religion is a central foundation for moral judgment (e.g., Protestants but not Jews find lustful thoughts to be morally suspect) and that religion strongly affects intergroup relations (e.g., theology regarding forgiveness affects intergroup relations). I then propose that religion broadly shapes self-construal (e.g., Protestants tend toward independent selves) and that the myriad ways in which religion shapes individuals’ psychologies is a complex issue that can be instructive in terms of how culture gets inside people’s heads.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)77-82
Number of pages6
JournalCurrent Directions in Psychological Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 27 2015



  • culture
  • enculturation
  • forgiveness
  • individualism
  • morality
  • religion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)

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