Research Note on Religion and Morality: Are Religious People Nice People?

by S. Philip Morgan
Social Forces ()


At the institutional or individual level one can speak of religion as divorced from, separated from, or married to morality. In this paper, I examine this religion-morality link, at the individual level, in friendly or cooperative behavior in day-to-day American life. Using frequency of prayer to indicate the extent to which religious beliefs and symbols are internalized, and data from a 1974 representative national sample, findings indicate that people who are more religious do seem more friendly and cooperative than less religious ones.

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