Perception of Freedom, Religion, and Life Satisfaction: A comparison of religion and happiness in China, Finland, and the United States of America Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/undergraduate_thesis_or_projects/mg74qn479

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  • This research paper uses data from the World Value Survey to examine the relationship between life satisfactions, perception of freedom, and religious affiliation in The People’s Republic of China, the Republic of Finland, and the United State of America. The paper looks to compare three different countries with vastly different population size, geographic location in the world, political systems, and public attitudes towards religion in an attempt to understand the role religion plays in people’s general life satisfaction. More specifically, the paper attempts to answer a set of questions regarding the relationship between the variables. Are people who are more religious happier than those who are not? Do people who are affiliated with a religion and its community believe they are free to make their own choices more so than those who are not? And are people with a high perception of freedom happier than those who are not, regardless of religious affiliation? The study is set out with the belief that people who categorize themselves as religious in general have a lower feeling of freedom but a higher feeling of life satisfaction, as religious practices and communities limit their choice of action but grants purpose and meaning to their lives. The paper will use raw data from the World Value Survey and processes it through a statistics program to get comparable data for critical analysis. Each country will be statistically analyzed individually, and the independent variable will be religious affiliation, while the independent variables will be life satisfaction and perception of freedom. The study will not look at the degree of freedom, life satisfaction, and religious affiliation, but look at the variables in absolute terms (yes/no, happy/not happy, etc.) The paper will conclude by drawing parallels between the countries, attempt to support or falsify the hypotheses, and draw up policy implications from the results.
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