When God's (not) needed: Spotlight on how belief in divine control influences goal commitment - Aix-Marseille Université Access content directly
Journal Articles Journal of Experimental Social Psychology Year : 2017

When God's (not) needed: Spotlight on how belief in divine control influences goal commitment

Abstract

People regularly set goals, but often fail to remain committed to them. In particular, people's commitment to their goals flags when their self-efficacy is low—when they doubt their ability to bring about their desired outcomes through their actions. We propose that when people feel low self-efficacy, reminders of external forces that ensure contingency in the world can help them restore their goal commitment. Moreover, we propose that one such external force is a powerful, interventionist God, and thus that reminders of a powerful God can help restore people's goal commitment when they feel low self-efficacy. In Study 1, we manipulated self-efficacy and measured religiosity. More religious people were more committed to their goals—a facilitating effect—but only when we had first made them feel low self-efficacy. In Study 2, we manipulated both self-efficacy and the salience of religious belief in a controlling vs. creating God. When we reminded participants of their beliefs in a controlling God, we again observed a facilitating effect when we also made them feel low in self-efficacy. Their beliefs in a creating God, in contrast, had no effect. In Study 3, we used a different experimental paradigm, and found additional support for the facilitating effect at low self-efficacy while providing evidence of mechanism. © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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Dates and versions

hal-01464887 , version 1 (10-02-2017)

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  • HAL Id : hal-01464887 , version 1

Cite

Jamel Khenfer, Elyette Roux, Eric Tafani, Laurin Kristin. When God's (not) needed: Spotlight on how belief in divine control influences goal commitment . Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 2017, 70 (May), pp.117-123. ⟨hal-01464887⟩
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