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Religious Behavior

The type and amount of religious actions an individual exhibits. Closely tied to the concept of religiosity, religious behavior focuses upon what individuals are doing in relation to religion specifically. The most commonly used measure of religious behavior is church or worship service attendance. Research shows that the act of attending alone exerts a powerful influence on individuals. Private forms of practice such as frequency of prayer or the reading of sacred scriptures are also important considerations.  Other forms of religious behavior that can be operationalized are contributions toward, and participation in religious activities or entities outside of worship. Self-reported religious experience can also be used as a measure of religious behavior. This measure is less well-known and as such, utilized less in research.

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Citations:

Wuthnow, Robert.  2007.  “Cognition and Religion.” Sociology of Religion 68:341-60.

The following are possible measures of Religious Behavior that can be created using data from theARDA.com
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This measures how frequently respondents attend places of worship.  It is debatable how much measurement error is present in self-reported attendance, as people tend to over-estimate their participation (see Hadaway et al. 1993; Hout and Greeley 1998; Pressler and Stinson 1998; Smith 1998). View related items in the Measurement Wizard:
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This measures how often a respondent prays. View related items in the Measurement Wizard:
    Examples  
Several files in theARDA's Data Archive have examples of this Measure.
Pray - 2008 General Social Survey (similar measures are available from previous waves of the GSS)
Q16 - 2005 Baylor Religion Survey
Pray_Freq - 2004 National Election Survey
Pray_Out - Spirit and Power: A 10 County Survey of Pentecostals (similar measures available in other locations)
Pray - 2005 Gallup Poll of Catholics
PrayAlon - 2007 National Study of Youth and Religion (similar measures on other waves)
DailyPry - Comparative Values Survey of Islamic Countries
Pray - Comparative Values Survey of Islamic Countries
PrayOft - 2007 Religion and Public Life Survey (similar measures on previous waves)
Pray_Out - Spirit and Power - Pentecostals in Brazil (similar measures available in other locations)
QN31A_D - Changing Faiths - Latinos and the Transformation of American Religion
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These variables measure how much a respondent gives to his or her religious congregation or organization. View related items in the Measurement Wizard:
    Examples  
Several files in the ARDA's Data Archive have examples of this Measure.
Q11 - 2005 Baylor Religion Survey CHURGIVE - 1994 Catholics in Indiana: A Social and Religious Profile GIVEN - 2003 National Study of Youth and Religion (similar measures available on other waves) CH_CONTR - 2000 National Election Study (similar measures available on other waves) See the 1993 American Congregational Giving Study For giving at the congregational level see the National Congregations Study. Search the ARDA for similar measures.
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Respondents reveal whether or not they have had certain religious experiences. View related items in the Measurement Wizard:
    Examples  
Several files in theARDA's Data Archive have examples of this Measure.
Reborn - 2006 General Social Survey FeelGod - 2004 General Social Survey NumRelEx - 2004 General Social Survey SP_1 - Panel Study of American Religion and Ethnicity Tongues2 - Spirit and Power: A 10-Country Survey of Pentecostals Q28 - 2005 Baylor Religion Survey
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