The Baylor Institute for Studies of Religion (ISR) received a major three-year grant from the John M. Templeton Foundation, to conduct a nationally representative multi-year study of religious values, practices, and behaviors, with a specific focus on consumption of religious goods and services. Using a host of new survey items that improve upon previous work, the study will yield new data to more systematically explore and better understand what sometimes appears to be an ambiguous relationship between trust, civic engagement, and religion. In partnering with the Gallup Organization, we believe this cutting-edge study has the potential to generate data that may well cause scholars to rethink our currently used measures of religious commitment or devoutness, as well as various theories linking the influence of religion to civic engagement, spiritual capital, and many other important social and behavioral outcomes.
- Data File
- Cases: 1,721
Weight Variable: None
- Data Collection
- Date Collected: 2005
- Funded By
- The John Templeton Foundation
- Collection Procedures
- The Gallup Organization collected the data, which resulted in a final sample of 1,721 adults in the United States. For this study, Gallup used a mixed-mode sampling design (telephone and self-administered mailed surveys). First, Gallup completed 1,002 telephone interviews with a national sample of the general population of adults, age 18 years of age or older. A random digit telephone sample was drawn from telephone exchanges serving the continental United States. At each randomly selected household, a Gallup interviewer attempted to conduct an interview with a selected person in the household (adult, age 18 and over who had the most recent birthday). A three-call design was used for this survey (one initial call plus two additional call-backs). At the conclusion of the telephone survey, respondents were told that Gallup was conducting an important study on American’s values and beliefs and asked if they would be willing to participate further in this study. In appreciation of their participation, potential mail survey respondents to the mail survey were offered a $5.00 incentive to complete the self-administered questionnaire and return it to Gallup. If a respondent agreed, a mailing address was requested. Of the 1,002 respondents in the telephone survey, 660 agreed to participate, though not all agreed to give the interviewer an address. In total, 603 of the 660 who initially agreed to participate also agreed to disclose an address for mailing purposes. Mailed surveys were sent out daily following the previous night’s recruitment interview. In addition to the RDD portion, Gallup also mailed 2000 questionnaires to Gallup’s national RDD database (households who have been pre-selected in a random-digit dialing sample design). The recruitment phase was conducted during the period of October 7-November 1, 2005.
The self-administered survey consisted of a 16-page booklet including a cover page entitled, “The Values and Beliefs of the American Public – A National Study.” A total of 2,603 questionnaires with a cover letter explaining the study’s objectives and including a number to call if they had any questions or comments were mailed to the adults who agreed to participate in the study. Gallup then followed-up to these households with a letter thanking them for agreeing to participate and asking for their cooperation. A follow-up reminder postcard was sent to all those who did not respond to the initial survey mailing. A second complete mailing was also utilized for the national RDD sample frame. Of the 2,603 surveys mailed, 1,721 were completed and returned. The final sample has a return rate based on total sample contacted of 46.5 percent. The final data are weighted to be more representative of national characteristics.
- Principal Investigators
- Christopher D. Bader
F. Carson Mencken
- When citing this study, the following information should be included:
Baylor University. 2005. The Baylor Religion Survey. Waco, TX: Baylor Institute for Studies of Religion [producer].