People who have had what they believe to be supernatural experiences are more likely to be “religious givers,” with their behavior based on cost-benefit principles that work in other transactions — whether that be through Amazon.com or an auto repair shop, according to a Baylor University study.
People are more likely to make “social exchanges” because of such factors as trust, repeated exchanges, reputation, information about others’ experiences, and institutions involved in exchanges, said Katie Corcoran, Ph.D., a postdoctoral fellow in Baylor’s Institute for Studies of Religion. The study shows that the less religious doubt people have, the more they are willing to give.
For her research, she applied “social exchange” theory. That theory assumes that when people make decisions, they choose the option that they think will benefit them most — and that that the more confident they are in their exchange partner and the quality of the good, the more likely they are to have further dealings. Positive online reviews rating goods and services or word-of-mouth recommendations increase certainty and make future social exchanges more likely.
While confidence in eBay obviously is different from trust in God, “there are parallels with religion” when it comes to building trust, Corcoran said.
Respondents who gave to religious organizations were more likely to report having had a supernatural experience such as being healed, witnessing the healing of another, hearing God’s voice, speaking in tongues, being protected by a guardian angel or having a “born-again” experience.
So, there is a correlation but the cause is not clear. Actually, one could suggest that these people are more trusting in general or seek out and give to organizations that support their own views. Maybe I’m missing something here but this does not seem to be enlightening. Trust is great but is that new?
Looking for input on this one.