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The Intersection of Religion and Politics: A Two-Way Street


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Principal Investigator(s):

Michele Margolis
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Email:margolis@mit.edu
Home page: http://www.michelemargolis.com/

Sample size: 1500
Field period: 2/13/2012-07/23/2012

 

Hypotheses:

Research Question: Does the close and visible linkage between the Republican Party and religious groups and values influence partisans' reported levels of religiosity?

H1: The close link between the Republican Party and religious groups will encourage Republicans to more closely identify with organized religion.

H2: The close link between the Republican Party and religious groups will encourage Democrats to identify with organized religion to a lesser extent.

H3: The heterogenous partisan results should be most pronounced among respondents currently raising children, as they have solidified partisan identities while their religious identities are still in flux.

Experimental Manipulations:

Treatment condition receives a newspaper article about the Faith and Freedom coalition.

Key Dependent Variables:

Self-reported religious identification, church attendance, and religiosity.

Summary of Findings:

Republicans who receive the experimental treatment report being more religious than Republicans in the control condition, while Democrats who receive the experimental treatment report being less religious than Democrats in the control condition.

Finally, these heterogenous results are most pronounced among respondents with children living at home, which is predicted by my life cycle hypothesis relating religion and politics together.

 


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