Student Research Projects

A Study of the Relationship between Religious Salience, Forgiveness Motivations, and Life Satisfaction

Student Brianne Cork ‘15 (Psychology)
Faculty Mentor(s)
Department Psychology
Course Psychology 480: Original Research Project


The aim of the present study is to investigate the relationship between forgiveness motivation, religious salience, and life satisfaction. The sample included 119 undergraduate students from a small liberal arts college, located in the south-eastern region of the United States. Correlational methods found a strong positive correlation between forgiveness of others and religious salience. A mediational model was proposed to explain the relationship between religious salience and life satisfaction. This research focused specifically on Christianity in comparison to non-Christian religions and its relationship on college students’ satisfaction with life. The results of an independent samples t-test revealed no difference between self-identified Christians and non-Christians life satisfaction. Further research may examine specific sects of non-Christian religions and the relationships they may have with happiness or satisfaction. The study may be conducted using a sample population drawn from a bigger institution that is more representative of the population.


Presented at the Virginia Psychological Association Conference in Virginia Beach, VA, April 2015.