Religiosity is related to a variety of positive outcomes and the nature of this relationship has long been a topic of inquiry. Recently, it was proposed that an important piece of this puzzle may be the propensity for religious beliefs to promote self-control, a trait that is linked to a range of benefits. How religion translates into self-control, however, remains unclear. We examined the extent to which religiosity's relationship with self-control is mediated by self-monitoring, perceived monitoring by God, and perceived monitoring by other people. Results revealed that more religious people tended to monitor their standing regarding their goals (self-monitoring) to a greater degree, which in turn related to more self-control. Also, religious people tended to believe that a higher power was watching them, which related to greater self-monitoring, which in turn was related to more self-control.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The authors disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: John Templeton Foundation, grant #14845.