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Religious Compensator

A religious compensator is belief in a future reward and/or justice.  Contrasted with immediate rewards, compensators represent the promise of future reward.  According to Iannaccone and Bainbridge, “A distinctive feature of religious organizations is that they promise attainment of rewards, such as eternal life in Heaven, that cannot be delivered in the here and now” (2009:466).  Accordingly, “When humans cannot quickly and easily obtain strongly desired rewards they persist in their efforts and may often accept explanations that provide only compensators. These are intangible substitutes for the desired reward, having the character of I.O.U.s, the value of which must be taken on faith” (Stark and Bainbridge 1987:36).  Although the concept of compensators occupied a central role in early efforts to theorize religious activity from a religious economies perspective, some later efforts largely dropped this concept from the general theoretical framework (cf. Stark 1999; Stark and Bainbridge 1987; Stark and Finke 2000).

Citations:

Iannaccone, Laurence R. and William Sims Bainbridge. 2009. “Economics of Religion.” Pp. 461-475 in The Routledge Companion to the Study of Religion (2nd edition), ed. John Hinnells. New York, NY: Routledge.

Stark, Rodney.  1999.  “Micro Foundations of Religion: A Revised Theory.”  Sociological Theory 17(3): 264-289.

Stark, Rodney and William S. Bainbridge. 1987. A Theory of Religion. Toronto: Peter Lang.

Stark, Rodney and Roger Finke.  2000.  Acts of Faith: Explaining the Human Side of Religion.  Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.

The following are possible measures of Religious Compensator that can be created using data from theARDA.com
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:
This measure approximates the extent to which respondents' religious beliefs about salvation are inclusive or exclusive of those unlike them. View related items in the Measurement Wizard:
    Examples  
Several files in the ARDA's Data Archive have examples of this Measure.
Q25 - 2005 Baylor Religion Survey
Saved - 2004 America's Evangelicals Survey
OnlyHope - 2000 Lilly Survey of Attitudes and Social Networks
Search the ARDA for similar measures.
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