Portraits of American Life Study
Hosted by The ARDA
The PALS seeks to understand the impact of religion in everyday life, and ultimately the connections between religious change and other forms of change among diverse individuals and families over the course of their lives.
Results & Summaries

Religious Guidance & Religious Authority

  All frequencies weighted by LOWEIGHT


For each of the following statements, please indicate whether you strongly disagree, somewhat disagree, neither agree nor disagree, somewhat agree, or strongly agree. There are errors in your religious text on moral, spiritual or religious matters. (ARA1W1) -- Wave 1 (2006) [See Wave 2 version below]
TOTAL%
-7) Refused181.5
-4) Dont know121
1) Strongly disagree47039.8
2) Somewhat disagree1119.4
3) Neither agree nor disagree35830.3
4) Somewhat agree15012.7
5) Strongly agree625.2
Missing131 
TOTAL1181100.0
There are errors in the [holy book] on moral, spiritual, or religious matters (ARA1) -- Wave 2 (2012)
TOTAL%
1) Strongly disagree47443.6
2) Somewhat disagree968.8
3) Neither disagree nor agree29527.1
4) Somewhat agree13012
5) Strongly agree928.5
Missing228 
TOTAL1087100.0
I have a personally meaningful relationship with God. (ARA2W1) -- Wave 1 (2006)
TOTAL%
-7) Refused121
-4) Dont know5.4
1) Strongly disagree645.4
2) Somewhat disagree625.2
3) Neither agree nor disagree22118.7
4) Somewhat agree35029.6
5) Strongly agree46739.5
Missing131 
TOTAL1181100.0
I believe that God loves me and cares about me. (ARA4W1) -- Wave 1 (2006) [See Wave 2 version below]
TOTAL%
-7) Refused121
-4) Dont know4.3
1) Strongly disagree786.6
2) Somewhat disagree282.4
3) Neither agree nor disagree968.1
4) Somewhat agree18515.6
5) Strongly agree78166
Missing131 
TOTAL1184100.0
I believe that God loves me and cares about me (ARA4) -- Wave 2 (2012)
TOTAL%
1) Strongly disagree444
2) Somewhat disagree7.6
3) Neither disagree nor agree827.5
4) Somewhat agree13011.8
5) Strongly agree83576
Missing217 
TOTAL1098100.0
In the last few years, how often have you felt that God is punishing you for your sins or lack of spirituality? (ARA5W1) -- Wave 1 (2006) [See Wave 2 version below]
TOTAL%
-7) Refused121
-4) Dont know141.2
1) Never57948.9
2) Rarely24120.4
3) Sometimes28524.1
4) Very often403.4
5) Every day or almost every day121
Missing131 
TOTAL1183100.0
In the last six years, how often have you felt that God is punishing you for your sins or lack of spirituality? (ARA5) -- Wave 2 (2012)
TOTAL%
1) Never55750.7
2) Rarely25923.6
3) Sometimes24322.1
4) Very often312.8
5) Every day or almost every day8.7
Missing216 
TOTAL1098100.0
In the last three years, how often have you felt angry at God? (ARA6W1) -- Wave 1 (2006) [See Wave 2 version below]
TOTAL%
-7) Refused121
-4) Dont know3.3
1) Never63253.5
2) Rarely31126.3
3) Sometimes20717.5
4) Very often171.4
5) Every day or almost every day00
Missing131 
TOTAL1182100.0
In the last six years, how often have you felt angry at God? (ARA6) -- Wave 2 (2012)
TOTAL%
1) Never59554
2) Rarely28826.2
3) Sometimes20218.3
4) Very often131.2
5) Every day or almost every day3.3
Missing213 
TOTAL1101100.0
In the last three years, how often have you wondered whether God had abandoned you? (ARA7W1) -- Wave 1 (2006) [See Wave 2 version below]
TOTAL%
-7) Refused11.9
-4) Dont know131.1
1) Never67857.4
2) Rarely24821
3) Sometimes19916.9
4) Very often272.3
5) Every day or almost every day5.4
Missing131 
TOTAL1181100.0
In the last six years, how often have you wondered whether God had abandoned you? (ARA7) -- Wave 2 (2012)
TOTAL%
1) Never62556.8
2) Rarely24121.9
3) Sometimes20518.6
4) Very often181.6
5) Every day or almost every day111
Missing215 
TOTAL1100100.0
In the last three years, how often have you had doubts about your faith? (ARA8W1) -- Wave 1 (2006) [See Wave 2 version below]
TOTAL%
-7) Refused121
-4) Dont know7.6
1) Never63453.6
2) Rarely25121.2
3) Sometimes24220.5
4) Very often342.9
5) Every day or almost every day3.3
Missing131 
TOTAL1183100.0
In the last six years, how often have you had doubts about your faith? (ARA8) -- Wave 2 (2012)
TOTAL%
1) Never61055.5
2) Rarely25222.9
3) Sometimes21219.3
4) Very often232.1
5) Every day or almost every day2.2
Missing215 
TOTAL1099100.0
There are errors in your religious text regarding science or history. (ARA1BW1) -- Wave 1 (2006) [See Wave 2 version below]
TOTAL%
-7) Refused141.2
-4) Dont know151.3
1) Strongly disagree41034.7
2) Somewhat disagree11810
3) Neither agree nor disagree40334.1
4) Somewhat agree13611.5
5) Strongly agree877.4
Missing131 
TOTAL1183100.0
There are errors in the [holy book] regarding science or history (ARA1B) -- Wave 2 (2012)
TOTAL%
1) Strongly disagree41438.5
2) Somewhat disagree918.5
3) Neither disagree nor agree31028.9
4) Somewhat agree14313.3
5) Strongly agree11610.8
Missing240 
TOTAL1074100.0
God created the world in six, 24-hour days. (ARA1CW1) -- Wave 1 (2006) [See Wave 2 version below]
TOTAL%
-7) Refused161.4
-4) Dont know272.3
1) Strongly disagree25321.4
2) Somewhat disagree887.4
3) Neither agree nor disagree32227.2
4) Somewhat agree1139.6
5) Strongly agree36430.8
Missing131 
TOTAL1183100.0
God created the world in six, 24-hour days (ARA1C) -- Wave 2 (2012)
TOTAL%
1) Strongly disagree24222.5
2) Somewhat disagree777.1
3) Neither disagree nor agree27825.8
4) Somewhat agree10810
5) Strongly agree37234.5
Missing238 
TOTAL1077100.0
I try hard to live all my life according to my religious beliefs. (ARA1DW1) -- Wave 1 (2006) [See Wave 2 version below]
TOTAL%
-7) Refused121
-4) Dont know6.5
1) Strongly disagree665.6
2) Somewhat disagree917.7
3) Neither agree nor disagree25121.2
4) Somewhat agree36330.7
5) Strongly agree39433.3
Missing131 
TOTAL1183100.0
I try hard to live all my life according to my religious beliefs (ARA1D) -- Wave 2 (2012)
TOTAL%
1) Strongly disagree555
2) Somewhat disagree696.3
3) Neither disagree nor agree15714.2
4) Somewhat agree33029.9
5) Strongly agree49144.6
Missing213 
TOTAL1102100.0
Please tell me whether you strongly agree, somewhat agree, neither agree nor disagree, somewhat disagree, or strongly disagree with each of the following statements. I definitely believe in God. (RA_1W1) -- Wave 1 (2006) [See Wave 2 version below]
TOTAL%
-4) Dont know3.2
1) Strongly agree109883.6
2) Somewhat agree997.5
3) Neither agree nor disagree463.5
4) Somewhat disagree272.1
5) Strongly disagree413.1
TOTAL1314100.0
I definitely believe in God (RA_1) -- Wave 2 (2012)
TOTAL%
1) Strongly agree99477.1
2) Somewhat agree13310.3
3) Neither agree nor disagree574.4
4) Somewhat disagree312.4
5) Strongly disagree745.7
Missing25 
TOTAL1289100.0
God is not a personal being, but more like an impersonal spiritual force. (RA_2W1) -- Wave 1 (2006)
TOTAL%
-7) Refused6.5
-4) Dont know201.5
1) Strongly agree38729.5
2) Somewhat agree22116.8
3) Neither agree nor disagree19114.5
4) Somewhat disagree846.4
5) Strongly disagree40430.8
TOTAL1313100.0
It doesnt much matter what I believe so long as I am a good person. (RA_3W1) -- Wave 1 (2006) [See Wave 2 version below]
TOTAL%
-7) Refused3.2
-4) Dont know7.5
1) Strongly agree37028.2
2) Somewhat agree27621
3) Neither agree nor disagree1239.4
4) Somewhat disagree15511.8
5) Strongly disagree37928.9
TOTAL1313100.0
It doesnt much matter what I believe so long as I am a good person (RA_3) -- Wave 2 (2012)
TOTAL%
1) Strongly agree41532.2
2) Somewhat agree25119.5
3) Neither agree nor disagree13610.6
4) Somewhat disagree14010.9
5) Strongly disagree34726.9
Missing26 
TOTAL1289100.0
I feel God has called me to the particular line of work I am in. (RA_4W1) -- Wave 1 (2006)
TOTAL%
-7) Refused1.1
-4) Dont know8.7
1) Strongly agree31026.1
2) Somewhat agree20116.9
3) Neither agree nor disagree35830.2
4) Somewhat disagree1119.4
5) Strongly disagree19716.6
Missing128 
TOTAL1186100.0
The founder of Islam, Muhammad, was the holy prophet of God. (RA_5W1) -- Wave 1 (2006) [See Wave 2 version below]
TOTAL%
-7) Refused7.5
-4) Dont know846.4
1) Strongly agree594.5
2) Somewhat agree906.9
3) Neither agree nor disagree54741.7
4) Somewhat disagree906.9
5) Strongly disagree43633.2
TOTAL1313100.0
The founder of Islam, Muhammad, was the holy prophet of God (RA_5) -- Wave 2 (2012)
TOTAL%
1) Strongly agree665.3
2) Somewhat agree846.7
3) Neither agree nor disagree54343.5
4) Somewhat disagree715.7
5) Strongly disagree48538.8
Missing64 
TOTAL1249100.0
I have experienced a supernatural miracle, an event that could not have happened without the intervention of God or a spiritual force. (RA_6W1) -- Wave 1 (2006) [See Wave 2 version below]
TOTAL%
-7) Refused7.5
-4) Dont know6.5
1) Strongly agree48136.6
2) Somewhat agree22517.1
3) Neither agree nor disagree26119.9
4) Somewhat disagree846.4
5) Strongly disagree24919
TOTAL1313100.0
I have experienced a supernatural miracle, an event that could not have happened without the intervention of God or a spiritual force (RA_6) -- Wave 2 (2012)
TOTAL%
1) Strongly agree51140.1
2) Somewhat agree18814.7
3) Neither agree nor disagree26020.4
4) Somewhat disagree755.9
5) Strongly disagree24118.9
Missing39 
TOTAL1275100.0
An angel has directly helped me in a time of need. (RA_7W1) -- Wave 1 (2006) [See Wave 2 version below]
TOTAL%
-7) Refused5.4
-4) Dont know8.6
1) Strongly agree35226.8
2) Somewhat agree25119.1
3) Neither agree nor disagree33225.3
4) Somewhat disagree916.9
5) Strongly disagree27520.9
TOTAL1314100.0
An angel has directly helped me in a time of need (RA_7) -- Wave 2 (2012)
TOTAL%
1) Strongly agree39931.3
2) Somewhat agree19615.4
3) Neither agree nor disagree33626.3
4) Somewhat disagree745.8
5) Strongly disagree27121.2
Missing39 
TOTAL1276100.0
The Devil, demons, or evil spirits exist. (RA_8W1) -- Wave 1 (2006) [See Wave 2 version below]
TOTAL%
-7) Refused1.1
-4) Dont know4.3
1) Strongly agree63748.6
2) Somewhat agree24818.9
3) Neither agree nor disagree18514.1
4) Somewhat disagree745.6
5) Strongly disagree16312.4
TOTAL1312100.0
The Devil, demons or evil spirits exist (RA_8) -- Wave 2 (2012)
TOTAL%
1) Strongly agree66051.8
2) Somewhat agree20616.2
3) Neither agree nor disagree18814.8
4) Somewhat disagree524.1
5) Strongly disagree16813.2
Missing39 
TOTAL1274100.0
I believe in reincarnation, that people have lived previous lives. (RA_9W1) -- Wave 1 (2006) [See Wave 2 version below]
TOTAL%
-7) Refused1.1
-4) Dont know171.3
1) Strongly agree1209.1
2) Somewhat agree20515.6
3) Neither agree nor disagree29522.5
4) Somewhat disagree17213.1
5) Strongly disagree50438.4
TOTAL1314100.0
I believe in reincarnation, that people have lived previous lives (RA_9) -- Wave 2 (2012)
TOTAL%
1) Strongly agree13210.3
2) Somewhat agree18314.3
3) Neither agree nor disagree32425.4
4) Somewhat disagree13210.3
5) Strongly disagree50639.6
Missing37 
TOTAL1277100.0
I believe in Heaven where people live with God forever. (RA_11W1) -- Wave 1 (2006) [See Wave 2 version below]
TOTAL%
-7) Refused1.1
-4) Dont know3.2
1) Strongly agree86565.9
2) Somewhat agree17713.5
3) Neither agree nor disagree16512.6
4) Somewhat disagree352.7
5) Strongly disagree675.1
TOTAL1313100.0
I believe in Heaven where people live with God forever (RA_11) -- Wave 2 (2012)
TOTAL%
1) Strongly agree79261.5
2) Somewhat agree18614.5
3) Neither agree nor disagree16212.6
4) Somewhat disagree403.1
5) Strongly disagree1078.3
Missing27 
TOTAL1287100.0
I believe there is a Hell where people experience pain as punishment for their sin. (RA_12W1) -- Wave 1 (2006) [See Wave 2 version below]
TOTAL%
-7) Refused1.1
-4) Dont know3.2
1) Strongly agree58144.2
2) Somewhat agree24918.9
3) Neither agree nor disagree21516.4
4) Somewhat disagree906.8
5) Strongly disagree17513.3
TOTAL1314100.0
I believe there is a Hell where people experience pain as punishment for their sin (RA_12) -- Wave 2 (2012)
TOTAL%
1) Strongly agree59346.3
2) Somewhat agree22717.7
3) Neither agree nor disagree19515.2
4) Somewhat disagree715.5
5) Strongly disagree19615.3
Missing33 
TOTAL1282100.0
Think about how you have tried to understand and deal with major problems in your life over the past three years. To what extent did you try to make sense of the situation and decide what to do on your own? (RA_15W1) -- Wave 1 (2006)
TOTAL%
-4) Dont know6.5
1) A great deal63748.4
2) Quite a bit45334.4
3) A little14411
4) Not at all473.6
5) Not applicable282.1
TOTAL1315100.0
Think about how you have tried to understand and deal with major problems in your life over the past three years. To what extent did you look to God or a larger spiritual force for strength, support, guidance? (RA_17W1) -- Wave 1 (2006)
TOTAL%
1) A great deal52741.9
2) Quite a bit33126.3
3) A little29123.2
4) Not at all897.1
5) Not applicable191.5
Missing57 
TOTAL1257100.0
Think about how you have tried to understand and deal with major problems in your life over the past three years. To what extent did you consider passages in your religious text? (RA_18W1) -- Wave 1 (2006)
TOTAL%
-4) Dont know1.1
1) A great deal32124.5
2) Quite a bit22917.5
3) A little34926.6
4) Not at all37528.6
5) Not applicable372.8
TOTAL1312100.0
Think about how you have tried to understand and deal with major problems in your life over the past three years. To what extent did you consider congregational teachings or talk to religious leaders? (RA_19W1) -- Wave 1 (2006)
TOTAL%
-7) Refused1.1
1) A great deal22817.4
2) Quite a bit21216.1
3) A little38028.9
4) Not at all45935
5) Not applicable332.5
TOTAL1313100.0
Think about how you have tried to understand and deal with major problems in your life over the past three years. To what extent did you talk to people in your religious congregation? (RA_20W1) -- Wave 1 (2006)
TOTAL%
-4) Dont know2.2
1) A great deal13516.5
2) Quite a bit17020.8
3) A little28134.3
4) Not at all20825.4
5) Not applicable232.8
Missing494 
TOTAL819100.0
Jesus Christ physically rose from the dead. (RA_5AW1) -- Wave 1 (2006) [See Wave 2 version below]
TOTAL%
-7) Refused2.2
-4) Dont know191.4
1) Strongly agree81962.4
2) Somewhat agree14110.7
3) Neither agree nor disagree21316.2
4) Somewhat disagree413.1
5) Strongly disagree785.9
TOTAL1313100.0
Jesus Christ physically rose from the dead (RA_5A) -- Wave 2 (2012)
TOTAL%
1) Strongly agree79762.2
2) Somewhat agree13110.2
3) Neither agree nor disagree21716.9
4) Somewhat disagree292.3
5) Strongly disagree1078.4
Missing34 
TOTAL1281100.0
I have experienced or witnessed a divine healing of an illness or injury (RA_6Z5) -- Wave 2 (2012)
TOTAL%
1) Strongly agree38029.6
2) Somewhat agree14711.5
3) Neither agree nor disagree33826.4
4) Somewhat disagree1017.9
5) Strongly disagree31624.6
Missing32 
TOTAL1282100.0


Instructions
View each question on our survey and how our respondents answered to the left.

To perform an auto-analysis of how an item relates to key demographics such as gender, education, religion and more, click on the "Analyze results" link below a variable.
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