Exploring the associations among shyness, religiousness, and satisfaction with life for religious adults
Shields, Stacy E
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Although a sizeable body of research has examined the implications of shyness, questions remain about how shy people differ in terms of their experiences within specific settings. One type of setting that often involves significant social interaction and that has several potential benefits is a religious community (Pargament, 1997). The purpose of the present study was to investigate the nature of the relationships among shyness and various aspects of religiousness including god image, religious motivation, religious preferences, service attendance, and sense of fit in religious communities. Data were collected from a community sample using a survey through the online crowdsourcing marketplace, Amazon’s Mechanical Turk (MTurk). The results from this research supported previous findings of a negative relationship between shyness and support expected from a deity. Results also replicated a previously found negative relationship between shyness and satisfaction with life, while also suggesting that accepting god image mediates this relationship. Moreover, results indicated significant negative relationships between shyness and perceived fit in religious communities as well as between shyness and religious service attendance. Results further indicated that intrinsic religious motivation moderates the relationship between shyness and religious service attendance. Counter to hypotheses, results did not indicate that strength of religiousness moderates the negative association between shyness and satisfaction with life and did not support the negative relationship between shyness and religious synchrony preference. These findings highlight the potential impact that aspects of religiousness may have on the lives of religious people, particularly shy religious people. Implications for researchers, therapeutic practitioners, and religious leaders are discussed.