Religiosity and social welfare: Competing influences of cultural conservatism and prosocial value orientation

Ariel Malka, Christopher J. Soto, Adam Cohen, Dale T. Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

25 Scopus citations


This research examines the hypothesis that religiosity has two competing psychological influences on the social welfare attitudes of contemporary Americans. On the one hand, religiosity promotes a culturally based conservative identity, which in turn promotes opposition to federal social welfare provision. On the other hand, religiosity promotes a prosocial value orientation, which in turn promotes support of federal social welfare provision. Across two national samples (Ns=1,513 and 320) and one sample of business employees (N=710), reliable support for this competing pathways model was obtained. We argue that research testing influences of nonpolitical individual differences on political preferences should consider the possibility of competing influences that are rooted in a combination of personality processes and contextual-discursive surroundings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)763-792
Number of pages30
JournalJournal of Personality
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2011


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology

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