The effects of religion on non-religious people in Japan

[Speaker] Arakawa, Ayumu:1
[Co-author] Matsushima, Kobo:2
1:Musashino Art University (Japan), 2:University of Tokyo (Japan)

Although about 70% Japanese don't have any religion, Japanese tend to exhibit religious behaviors. To examine the effect of religion on Japanese behavior, we conducted a questionnaire research. The questionnaire included questions about hesitation in some situations: "discarding a lucky charm", "cremating a deceased relative" with/without religious ceremony and "explaining a lucky incident" with/without god's help. Sixty-eight undergraduates participated in this research. The results showed that people tend to be more hesitant when discarding a lucky charm without undergoing a religious ceremony first (t(64)=11.26, p<.01); to cremate a deceased relative without any religious ceremony than with a religious ceremony (t(64)=11.51, p<.01); and to be more hesitant to account a lucky incidents in terms of god's help (t(63)=2.68, p<.01). Same tendencies were found even when people who didn't have any religion. These results indicate that Japanese people are affected by religious concepts even when they don't believe any religion.
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