Sign in

How does religion affect behavior?

Alexie Sauer
How does religion affect behavior?


It's no secret that religion has a large influence on human behavior. If we're asking the question "How does religion affect behavior?", then it's natural to start by looking at the positive effects of religion. Indeed, there are many ways in which people who are religious can lead better lives than those who aren't. For example:

It influences what we perceive as right and wrong.

Religion is a powerful influence on behavior. Religious people tend to be more moral than non-religious people, and they have a different set of moral beliefs. For example, religious people may feel that abortion is wrong and should not be allowed under any circumstances.

Religious conflicts can also arise over issues such as gay marriage or women's rights--issues where there are strong differences between religious groups in the U.S., Israel, India and other Asian countries today.

People who are religious may spend more time helping others.

Religion can also encourage people to help others. In a study conducted by psychologists at the University of California, Berkeley, researchers found that people who are religious are more likely to give money or time to charity than those who aren't religious.

The researchers asked participants about their religious beliefs and then gave them $5 each day for five days. The volunteers were told that they could keep all of their money if they chose not to donate any portion of it; however, if they donated at least half their earnings each day over the next week (and did so without fail), then they would receive an extra dollar per day on top of their regular income throughout that same period of time.

The results showed that those with higher levels of religiosity were more likely than others not only to donate but also keep up with this task until its completion--even though doing so wasn't mandatory!

Religious people tend to be more civic-minded.

Religious people are more civic-minded, so to speak. They tend to be involved in their community, and they often volunteer for causes that benefit others. Also, religious communities tend to be good at organizing themselves for charity and helping out other people as well.

Religious people will also likely be more active at church than non-religious individuals who are also relatively socially engaged; this means that even if you're not religious yourself, you may still find yourself attracted to those who are--and vice versa!

Religiosity can have positive effects on mental health and well-being.

  • Religion can help people cope with stress, which may be one reason why religiosity is associated with better physical health. For example, religious people show lower levels of depression and anxiety than nonreligious ones. They learn a lot of positive things by reading about coming in the clouds and other such events.
  • Religiosity also promotes feelings of belonging and purpose--two things that are critical for mental health. When you feel like you belong to something larger than yourself (like in a community or organization), it helps you realize that there are other people out there who share your values and goals. This sense of belonging makes us feel less lonely; we're not on our own fighting life's challenges alone! And when we have a sense of purpose for our lives--which comes from any number of factors including religion--it gives us something worth fighting for beyond ourselves alone."

Religious people are less likely to commit suicide than nonreligious people.

This may be because religious people have a sense of purpose in life and are more likely to have friends, family members, and other resources that can help them cope with depression or other mental health issues.

If you're feeling suicidal, talk to someone about your feelings--and remember that there are many resources available at any time of day or night if you need someone to talk with.

Religion can have positive effects on behavior, but only if it's genuine=

Religious people are more likely to volunteer and donate money to charity than non-religious people. They're also less likely to commit suicide (and the same goes for religious groups). Religious people are also more civic-minded: they tend to vote at higher rates and donate more money per capita than their secular counterparts.


Religion is often associated with morality. But does religion actually affect our behavior? And does it have positive effects on mental health and well-being? The short answer is yes--but only if it's genuine. In this post, we'll explore how religion can influence our actions and attitudes towards others in our lives.

Alexie Sauer
Zupyak is the world’s largest content marketing community, with over 400 000 members and 3 million articles. Explore and get your content discovered.
Read more