A Blog of Reason From a Godless Liberal

The Lonely are More Likely to Believe in god

In atheism, religion, Science on January 25, 2008 at 5:40 pm

Study finds the god of the friendless

A study detailed in the February issue of the journal Psychological Science, shows that people who are lonely are more likely to believe in god, and the supernatural than those who are part of established social group. College undergraduates were shown clips from three movies to induce certain feelings. Those that saw a clip from “Cast Away”, a movie where Tom Hanks plays a man stranded on a topical island by himself where more likely to assign anthropomorphic traits to pets, electronic gadgets, and even cars. The people in the lonely control group also reported a stronger belief in god, angels, miracles, the devil, ghost and other supernatural phenomenon. “We found that inducing people to feel lonely made them more religious essentially,” said University of Chicago researcher Nicholas Epley. Epley plans to investigate the issue to see if anthropomorphizing pets or believing in anthropomorphized supernatural agents is what alleviates feelings of loneliness in the insolated. “There are health benefits that come from being connected to other people, and those same benefits seem to come from connection with pets and with religious agents, too,” Epley said. Epley didn’t mention the health effects of suicide bombers, honor killings, or the holy inquisition.



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