In a series of three studies we examined the ways in which religion informs the individual experience and valuation of emotions. In Study 1 Christian Muslim Hindu Buddhist and Jewish participants (N = 7231) in 49 nations reported the frequency with which they experienced nine discrete emotions. Results indicate group level differences in the frequency with which different emotions are experienced. Study 2 examined whether the patterns of emotional experiences found in Study 1 replicated in the valuation of those emotions by the adherents of those different religious traditions. Study 3 experimentally manipulated the salience of religious identity to examine the effect of religion on the current experience of emotions. Across the studies findings provide evidence that religion (e.g. Christianity Buddhism etc) is related to the experience of and beliefs about emotional states. Implications for the study of happiness and positive psychology are discussed in light of the findings.
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