Religiosity and the Perception of Interreligious Threats: The Suppressing Effect of Negative Emotions towards God

Dorcas Yarn Pooi Lam, Kai Seng Koh, Siew Wei Gan, Jacob Tian You Sow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
38 Downloads (Pure)


Religiosity has been studied for its impact on other sociological and psychological aspects of society, particularly personal wellbeing and interpersonal relationships. However, it has yet to be studied for its impact on interreligious prejudice as measured by perceptions of interreligious threats. The present study investigates how religiosity (both positive and negative measures) affects perception of threats from other religious groups within the Malaysian context by using the Centrality of Religiosity Scale and the Inventory of Emotions towards God as measures of religiosity. Data collected through questionnaires administered to university students and recent graduates (N = 260) in Malaysia were subjected to bivariate correlation analysis, multiple regression analysis and mediation analysis. Our findings show that the positive and negative measures yielded different effects on the perception of interreligious threats. While the centrality of religiosity and positive emotions towards God have statistically significant negative correlation with perception of interreligious threats, we show that negative emotions towards God suppresses the effect of the positive measures of religion on the dependent variable. The paper discusses the implications of these results within the socio-political context of Malaysia, in which ethnic identity and religious affiliation are closely intertwined.
Original languageEnglish
Article number366
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 10 Mar 2023


  • CRS
  • emotions towards God
  • interreligious perceptions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Religious studies


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