About The ARDA | Tools | FAQs | Contact Us
Religious Belief

On its most basic level, religious belief refers to views toward the supernatural. Usually paired in research with measures of religious tradition and religious behavior, measuring religious belief allows researchers to gain insight into what respondents are thinking concerning the supernatural. One of the most common religious belief measures is whether or not respondents believe in God. A new strain of research is focusing not just on if individuals believe in God, but specifically what they believe God to be like. The images of God variables are used to create various scales that have proven to be highly predictive of attitudes and behavior. Probably the most common religious belief measure used in religious research is biblical literalism. This variable grouped with religious tradition and religious behavior is a common set of religious controls for any statistical model. Beyond these religious beliefs, a less-used list of other beliefs exists. Belief in Hell, Jesus, salvation, Satan, angels, demons, heaven, or the “end times” provide a rich palate of possible research opportunities dealing with religious belief.

View related items in the Measurement Wizard:

View related items in Measurement Wizard Scales:

 

Citations:

Froese, Paul and Christopher Bader. 2007. “God in America: Why Theology is Not Simply the Concern of Philosophers.” Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 46:465-81.

Froese, Paul and Christopher Bader. 2010. America’s Four Gods: What We Say about God–and What That Says about Us. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Glendinning, Tony. 2006. “Religious Involvement, Conventional Christian, and Unconventional Nonmaterialist Beliefs.” Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 45:585-95.

Hempel, Lynn M. and John P. Bartkowski. 2008. “Scripture, Sin and Salvation: Theological Conservatism Reconsidered.” Social Forces 86:1647-74.

Smith, Christian 2003. Moral, Believing Animals: Human Personhood and Culture. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

The following are possible measures of Religious Belief that can be created using data from theARDA.com
Contributors:
This assesses whether or not a respondent believes in God. View related items in the Measurement Wizard:
    Examples  
Several files in the ARDA's Data Archive have examples of this Measure.
GOD - 2008 General Social Survey (similar measures available on previous waves)
BELFGOD1 - 1998 International Social Survey Program: Religion II
BELFGOD2 - 1998 International Social Survey Program: Religion II
Q21 - 2005 Baylor Religion Survey
Q26A - 2005 Baylor Religion Survey
BELGOD - 2005 Religion and Public Life Survey
BELIEVGOD: Variable 808 from General Social Survey, 2004
BLVINGOD - 1996 Religion and Politics Survey
Q30 - U.S. Religious Landscape Survey
Search the ARDA for similar measures.
Contributors:
Images of God are typically measured using a battery of questions inquiring about the traits that respondents attribute to God.  Typically these descriptions fall out along underlying dimensions, especially the following: level of engagement or distance from the world, wrath or anger, and love.  These dimensions, as well specific combinations of these dimensions, have been found to have a substantial relationship with political and moral ideology. View related items in the Measurement Wizard:

View related items in Measurement Wizard Scales:

Contributors:
Views toward certain religious predictions about the end of the world, such as Armageddon and the Rapture. View related items in the Measurement Wizard:
    Examples  
Several files in the ARDA's Data Archive have examples of this Measure.
BELIEF11 - 1996 God and Society in North America
ENDWORLD - 1996 American Jewish Committee Religious Right Survey Q26H - 2005 Baylor Religion Survey Q26I - 2005 Baylor Religion Survey Rapture - Spirit and Power:  A 10 Country Study of Pentecostals F_QN36 - Changing Faiths: Latinos and the Transformation of American Religion Search the ARDA for similar measures.
Contributors:
One's views on the certainty of a positive afterlife existing, or occasionally, questions about who will be allowed to go there. View related items in the Measurement Wizard:
    Examples  
Several files in the ARDA's Data Archive have examples of this Measure.
Q27A through Q27F - 2005 Baylor Religion Survey
HEAVEN - 2008 General Social Survey
HEAVEN - Spirit and Power: A 10 Country Survey of Pentecostals
BELHEAVN - Comparative Values Survey of Islamic Countries
RA_11 - Panel Study of American Religion and Ethnicity
Heaven_W2 - 2005 National Study of Youth and Religion, Wave II (similar measures available in other waves)
WHOHEAV - 2005 National Study of Youth and Religion, Wave II (similar measures available in other waves)
BLVHVN_4 - World Values Survey, Aggregate Data
Q35- U.S. Religious Landscape Survey
Search the ARDA for similar measures.
Contributors:
This assesses whether or not a respondent believes in Hell or Purgatory. View related items in the Measurement Wizard:
    Examples  
Several files in the ARDA's Data Archive have examples of this Measure.
HELL - Spirit and Power: A 10-Country Survey of Pentecostals HELL5 - 1995 Project Canada BELHELL - 1998 International Social Survey Program: Religion II HELL 1994 Catholics in Indiana: A Social and Religious Profile HELL - 2008 General Social Survey (similar measures available in previous waves) Q26D and Q26E - 2005 Baylor Religion Survey SOUL3 - 1996 Religion and Politics Survey BELHELL - Comparative Values Survey of Islamic Countries BLVHELL_3 - World Values Survey, Aggregate Data Q36 - U.S. Religious Landscape Survey Search the ARDA for similar measures.
Contributors:
These variables measure whether or not a respondent believes in angels or demons. View related items in the Measurement Wizard:
    Examples  
Several files in the ARDA's Data Archive have examples of this Measure.
ANGELS5 - 1995 Project Canada ANGELS - 2003 National Study of Youth and Religion (similar measures available in subsequent waves) DEMONS - 2003 National Study of Youth and Religion (similar measures available in subsequent waves) ANGELS - Spirit and Power: A 10-Country Survey of Pentecostals Q26F - 2005 Baylor Religion Survey Q26G - 2005 Baylor Religion Survey QE11_6 - 2005 Muslim American Survey F_QN4A - Changing Faiths: Latinos and the Transformation of American Religion RA_8 - Panel Study of American Religion and Ethnicity Q39B - U.S. Religious Landscape Survey Search the ARDA for similar measures.
Contributors:
This assesses what respondents believe about the divinity (or lack thereof) regarding Jesus. View related items in the Measurement Wizard:
    Examples  
Several files in the ARDA's Data Archive have examples of this Measure.
BELIEF3 - 1996 God and Society in North America
BELIEF4 - 1996 God and Society in North America CROSS - 1997 ABC News Religion Poll SONGOD - 1997 ABC News Religion Poll, 1997 ROSEDEAD - 1997 ABC News Religion Poll ONLYWAY - Spirit and Power: A 10-Country Survey of Pentecostals RETURN - Spirit and Power: A 10-Country Survey of Pentecostals Q24 - 2005 Baylor Religion Survey GODRVEAL - 2000Religion and Politics Survey BELRESUR - 2005 Gallup Poll of Catholics RA_5A - Panel Study of American Religion and Ethnicity JESUSCHR - 2005 National Study of Youth and Religion Search the ARDA for similar measures.
Contributors:
This measures whether or not a respondent believes in Satan/the devil. View related items in the Measurement Wizard:
    Examples  
Several files in the ARDA's Data Archive have examples of this Measure.
Q26B - 2005 Baylor Religion Survey
DEVIL - Spirit and Power: A 10 Country Survey of Pentecostals
RA_8 - Panel Study of American Religion and Ethnicity
BLV_DEV4 - World Values Survey, Aggregate Data
DEVIL - 1991 General Social Survey
F_QN19E - Changing Faiths: Latinos and the Transformation of American Religion
Search the ARDA for similar measures.
Related Theories To This Concept
Contributors
QuickSearch The Knowledge-Base

To search the knowledge-base, enter a term below:

Select a Theory below to learn more:

Select a Concept below to learn more: