The association of religiosity and political conservatism: The role of political engagement

Ariel Malka, Yphtach Lelkes, Sanjay Srivastava, Adam Cohen, Dale T. Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

85 Scopus citations


Some argue that there is an organic connection between being religious and being politically conservative. We evaluate an alternative thesis that the relation between religiosity and political conservatism largely results from engagement with political discourse that indicates that these characteristics go together. In a combined sample of national survey respondents from 1996 to 2008, religiosity was associated with conservative positions on a wide range of attitudes and values among the highly politically engaged, but this association was generally weaker or nonexistent among those less engaged with politics. The specific political characteristics for which this pattern existed varied across ethno-religious groups. These results suggest that whether religiosity translates into political conservatism depends to an important degree on level of engagement with political discourse.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)275-299
Number of pages25
JournalPolitical Psychology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2012


  • Conservative ideology
  • Political attitudes
  • Political engagement
  • Religion
  • Social influence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Philosophy
  • Social Psychology
  • Political Science and International Relations
  • Sociology and Political Science


Dive into the research topics of 'The association of religiosity and political conservatism: The role of political engagement'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this