Social trust, trust in Muslims, and American religion.
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Hinze, Wesley Martin.
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Social groups heavily influence our perceptions of others. This paper analyzes nationally representative data collected by the Gallup organization for Baylor University's national study on the values and beliefs of the American public to explore associations between religious traditions and social/generalized trust. Denominational differences in characteristics such as theological emphasis, network permeability, and volunteering might impact members' perceptions of those outside their own congregation or denomination. Differences in how trustworthy members of separate religious traditions (e.g. Evangelical Protestant, Mainline Protestant, and Catholic) perceive others to be are expected to show support for the bridging versus bonding social capital thesis. The perception of the trustworthiness of Muslims will be the second dependent variable analyzed, also with respect to religious tradition differences, to show whether differences in the perception of this more maligned group (compared to people in general) emerge as well, following the line of research on particularized trust.