Credit where credit is due: Could personality explain the belief-as-benefit effect?

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A belief-as-benefit effect (BABE)—the positive association between well-being and religiosity/spirituality— is recurrently reported. Past BABE research has however been critiqued for predominantly utilizing unrepresentative samples, questionable psychometric measures and bivariate designs. Employing a multivariate design, I explore the incremental validity of the BABE in two community samples. Hierarchical models— initially including socio-demographic factors and religiosity/spirituality and subsequently adding trait agreeableness and conscientiousness—are used. Simple correlations confirm the BABE (with an unexceptional effect size). However the unique association observed using multivariate estimation is substantially weaker and occasionally indicates an adverse association. That cross-sectional analyses cannot establish cause is fully acknowledged.Yet,establishing cause is not the current aim; multivariate models are simply used to substantiate the cross-sectional BABE.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)30-57
Number of pages28
JournalSecular Studies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 03 Apr 2020


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