The importance of religiosity and values in predicting political attitudes. Evidence for the continuing importance of religion in Flanders (Belgium)
It has often been argued that religions influence political attitudes only indirectly by their influence on the value system of believers. This value system, in turn, is supposed to be used as a guideline in forming political attitudes. Thus, in this view, it should be sufficient to focus on value orientations if one wants to examine religion’s influence on political attitudes. However, results of this study among first year psychology students (N=389) show that, although value orientations hold greater predictive strength than religiosity towards political attitudes in Flanders (Belgium), religiosity, even apart from values, does provide additional information in predicting political attitudes. Thus, our results suggest that, at least in Flanders, religion, even apart from values, is still a politically important force. The most important value types, as measured by the Schwartz' Value Inventory (Schwartz, 1992), and religiosity dimensions, as measured by the Post-Critical Belief scale (Desimpelaere et al., 1999), associated with political attitudes were identified. Results show that each political attitude included in this study (economic conservatism, cultural conservatism, racism and nationalism) is predicted by a more or less unique pattern of religiosity dimensions and value orientations.
Duriez, B., Luyten, P. Snauwaert, B., & Hutsebaut D. (2002). The importance of religiosity and values in predicting political attitudes. Evidence for the continuing importance of religion in Flanders (Belgium). Mental Health, Religion and Culture, 5, 35-54.