Title

Thank God for My Successes (Not My Failures): Feeling God’s Presence Explains a God Attribution Bias

Department

Psychological Sciences

Document Type

Article

Publication Source

Psychological Reports. Epub ahead of print.

Publication Date

2019-11-04

Abstract

Little research has investigated attributional biases to God for positive and negative personal events. Consistent with past work, we predicted that people who believe in God will attribute successes more to God than failures, particularly for highly religious people. We also predicted that believing that God is a part of the self would increase how much people felt God’s presence which would result in giving God more credit for successes. Our study (N = 133) was a two-factor, between-subject experimental design in which participants either won or lost a game and were asked to attribute the cause of this outcome to themselves, God, or other factors. Furthermore, participants either completed the game before or after responding to questions about their religious beliefs. Overall, there was support for our predictions. Our results have important implications for attribution research and the practical psychological experiences for religious people making attributions for their successes and failures.

Keywords

religion, God, attribution, self

DOI

10.1177/0033294119885842

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