A motivational framework of religion: Tying together the why and the how of religion

Allon Vishkin*, Pazit Ben-Nun Bloom, Gizem Arikan, Jeremy Ginges

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Two lines of research in the psychology of religion have developed independently of each other: why people are religious and how they are religious. Leveraging theories of goal constructs, we propose that these two lines of research are connected, such that religious expressions are the manifestation of religious motivations. In Part I, we build and test a model of relations between religious motivations and religious expressions using data from Christians in the United Kingdom (Study 1; N = 418) and Jews in Israel (Study 2; N = 505). In Part II, we demonstrate the utility of the model by showing how relations between religiosity and political ideology can be understood by this integrated model. We discuss how this model advances research on the psychology of religion beyond the refinement of typologies and how it can be used to model associations between religiosity and other constructs.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)420-434
Number of pages15
JournalEuropean Journal of Social Psychology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 2022

Bibliographical note

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© 2021 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


  • ideology
  • motivation
  • religion


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