Stingy secularists and benevolent believers?: examining volunteerism among the religious and non-religious




Trautner, Sara

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The present study examines the relationship of volunteering and religious belief through the lens of Rational Choice Theory. The purpose of the study is to challenge the popular and negative opinions regarding those who are less religious and the notion that they are more selfish. Pursuant to prior research, it is speculated that a relationship between higher religious beliefs will correlate to a greater likelihood to volunteer, as well as a higher frequency of volunteering in both religious and secular volunteer organizations. It is also hypothesized that intervening variables, such as having a positive view of the world and feeling more socially connected, will be important predictive variables in assessing volunteer rates and frequencies. Through the use of Binary Logistic, Negative Binomial, and Tobit Regression analyses, only social connection is found to be statistically significant across the four dependent variables which comprise the current study. The outcomes in the study present evidence to suggest that the negative views directed towards the non-religious should be challenged.


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Civic Engagement, Rational Choice Theory, Religion, Secularism, Volunteerism