People higher (vs. lower) in religiosity differ in the emotions they typically experience, but do they also differ in how they deal with their emotions? In this investigation, we systematically tested links between religiosity and elements of emotion regulation, including beliefs regarding the controllability of emotion, the motivation to feel better, and the tendency to use specific emotion regulation strategies (e.g., cognitive reappraisal, rumination, distraction). Participants were American Catholics, Israeli Jews, and Muslim Turks (N = 616) who were stratified sampled based on level of religiosity. All eight preregistered hypotheses were confirmed, even after controlling for demographic variables. We found that people higher (vs. lower) in religiosity were more likely to use emotion regulation strategies that are typically linked to adaptive emotional outcomes (e.g., cognitive reappraisal, acceptance) and less likely to use emotion regulation strategies that are typically linked to less adaptive outcomes (e.g., rumination). These findings suggest that people higher (vs. lower) in religiosity may deal with their emotions in more adaptive ways.
- emotion regulation
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Social Psychology
- Cultural Studies