Trust in Religious Others: A Three-Way Interaction Model of Religious Bias, Informational Use of Digital Media, and Education
This study investigates the relationship between individuals’ religious bias and trust in religious others and how this relationship is conditioned by education and the use of digital media in the context of Pakistan. Although recent studies conducted in Western democracies suggest that social media have potentially contributed to the growth of religious and racial cleavages, the impact of these platforms remains understudied in non-Western, predominantly Muslim societies such as Pakistan. Our analyses of the World Value Survey (WVS) data from Pakistan show that, not surprisingly, religious bias negatively predicts trust in religious others. However, the informational use of digital media platforms (i.e., the Internet and social media) moderates this relationship, indicating that this negative association becomes insignificant among heavy digital media users. This relationship is further contingent on education, suggesting that less educated people benefit more from the informational use of digital media. The findings are discussed in relation to the extant literature on the role of digital media and education in facilitating religious trust.