by Bob Smietana, Religion News Service, 1/28/21.
…Using data from the General Social Survey, Rubia Valente, assistant professor at Baruch College, and Adam Okulicz-Kozaryn of Rutgers University isolated two aspects of religion: individual religiosity, with a focus on prayer and belief in God, versus social religiosity, measured by attendance at services or membership in a religious group.
They found higher levels of belief predicted less trust, while higher levels of belonging predicted more trust. They also found that those who belong to religious groups or attend services have a lower level of misanthropy, or dislike of other people.
“People that are socially religious — what we classify as belonging — they’re more likely to like people and have a lower misanthropy level,” said Valente.
Valente said the study’s findings reminded her of some of the messages she heard in church while growing up in Brazil, especially about putting your trust in God and not in other people.