Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access


Political Science

Second Department


First Advisor

Zoe Oxley

Second Advisor

Joshua Hart




Partisanship, Religious Identity, Political Engagement, Politics, Religion


Is politics increasingly substituting for religion as a source of identity? As organized religion is on the decline in the United States and the "nones" (those who are Atheist, Agnostic, or claim no religion) continue to be some of the most politically active people in the country, it seems that there is a shift away from religion and towards politics. The present study explored this idea by testing the relationships among religiosity, identity-seeking behavior, and political engagement. I hypothesized that people seeking an identity would become more politically engaged after a partisan threat, especially if they were lower in religiosity. I recruited 197 participants from the survey platform Prolific, who completed a series of scales relating to religiosity, partisanship, and identity-seeking. Participants also were randomly assigned to read a paragraph that either threatened the partisan identity of Democrats or Republicans, followed by questions about their future political engagement intentions. Linear regression analyses (though not statistically significant) revealed a trend in the data consistent with predictions: People low in religiosity, yet high in identity seeking, were more likely to say they wanted to engage politically in the future compared to people low in identity seeking. These findings have implications for the future navigation of our political and religious landscape as organized religion continues to decline and partisanship continues to become heightened.

Available for download on Sunday, June 30, 2024



Rights Statement

In Copyright - Educational Use Permitted.