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Truth and Significance: A 3N Model (Needs, Narratives, Networks) Perspective on Religion


Religion has fascinated resarchers across disciplines. Indeed, the phenomenon has been analyzed from psychological (e.g., James, 1902), sociological (e.g., Durkheim, 1976), and cultural (e.g., Weber, 2005) perspectives. In this chapter, we propose a broad view of religion within the 3N theory of ideological involvement (Kruglanski et al., 2013, 2014; Kruglanski, Jasko, Webber, Chernikova, & Molinario, 2018; Webber & Kruglanski, 2018). The 3N’s refer to needs, narratives, and networks. The need component identifies the motive(s), or need(s), which the individual seeks to satisfy. The narrative component relates to the belief system one endorses, the main function of which is to identify the goals and the means that are appropriate for satisfying the need(s). Finally, the network component validates the narrative and rewards behaviors prescribed by it while punishing the ones that go against it. The theory thus provides a framework that is useful for better understanding of various religious phenomena.

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Szumowska, Ewa, Aneta Czernatowicz-Kukuczka, Małgorzata Kossowska, Szymon Król, and Arie W. Kruglanski. 2020. "Truth and Significance: A 3N Model (Needs, Narratives, Networks) Perspective on Religion." In The Science of Religion, Spirituality, and Existentialism, eds. Kenneth Vail III and Clay Routledge. London: Elsevier, 225-242. https://www.elsevier.com/books/the-science-of-religion-spirituality-and-existentialism/vail-iii/978-0-12-817204-9

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