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Causes of religion - evolution
Causes of religion - psychological
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July 15, 2015
Ask students about religion, and they’ll tell you they drink less
Religious people tend to drink less than non-religious people. We know that because, well because...
July 08, 2015
Surprisingly, belief that God is in control increases support for government welfare programmes
There's an enduring puzzle about religion and government, and it's about what effect religions have...
March 24, 2015
Did belief in ghosts help kick-start civilization?
In a remote highland region of south-eastern Turkey lies the remains of what is possibly...
December 08, 2014
Can religion reduce crime?
Studying links between religious belief and crime is notoriously difficult. On a crude level, people...
October 14, 2014
Are religious pictures more powerful than words?
Subliminal priming is a classic way to study how religion might affect attitudes and behaviour....
September 25, 2014
Hearing the Islamic Call to Prayer encourages Muslims to cheat less
People placed in religious environments tend to act more morally - but what, exactly, triggers...
August 15, 2014
Children with a religious upbringing have difficulty telling fantasy from reality
There’s a long-standing debate over whether we humans are naturally predisposed to believe in the...
June 11, 2014
Atheism not linked to cognitive decline (but it is linked to intelligence)
In Scotland, they've been following a group of people ever since they were born in...
May 27, 2014
When it comes to religions, governmental regulation and social norms affect happiness
If you read the last post you'll know that the relationship between religion and happiness...
May 20, 2014
Religion and happiness: maybe it’s not a country-specific effect after all
Last week I highlighted a failure to replicate a study on women, fertility and religion....
May 14, 2014
Women can keep the vote!
About this time last year I wrote about an interesting study that found that single...
May 06, 2014
Is the internet leading people away from religion?
This is a story that has been circulating recently, so I thought I'd fact check...
April 29, 2014
Do religious people think they’re nice? It depends on the country
Religion, at least in many people’s minds, is linked to prosocial behaviour. There’s some evidence...
April 18, 2014
Turning to God for reassurance in the face of wonder
‘Agency detection’ – seeing purposeful minds at work behind seemingly random events – is a...
April 05, 2014
Why do religious people have more friends?
It’s a fairly well-attested fact that religious people tend to be happier, to be more...
March 29, 2014
Can prayer improve your self-control?
Self control is a depletable resource. Struggle to maintain your self control in one task,...
March 06, 2014
Do migraines cause religion?
Stop sniggering there at the back. I'm serious!This is a study on nearly 25,000 Norwegians...
February 26, 2014
Hell and happiness
Believing in hell seems to make people unhappy. That's the conclusion that Azim Shariff (University...
February 10, 2014
Research roundup: schizophrenia, brain ageing, and unexplained medical mysteries
So, posting has been infrequent of late. But on the plus side, that means I...
January 26, 2014
Religious countries are the most corrupt
Using standard assessments of national corruption, Hamid Yeganeh & Daniel Sauers of Winona State University,...
January 09, 2014
That was the year that was 2013
Well folks, another year wrapped up. That's the sixth New Year that this blog has...
December 18, 2013
If your god didn’t care about right and wrong, would you still be good?
Studies of religious belief that step outside of the Western bubble are rare, but particularly...
December 03, 2013
Cloud of dots or person walking in a snowstorm? Paranormal believers see people when they’re not there.
Imagine yourself walking on your own through a dark forest. Each and every movement that...
November 19, 2013
Faith in god and faith in doctors
David Rosmarin and colleagues from Harvard Medical School wanted to know if psychiatric patients who...
November 14, 2013
Atheists get sweaty when daring God
When you get anxious or emotionally aroused, you sweat. Not a lot, but enough to...
November 05, 2013
Do even atheists see a purpose behind random life events?
Teleological thinking – confusing effects and purpose – has often been suggested to be linked...
October 23, 2013
Humans devote so much time to rhythmic group activities (singing, dancing, marching) that it seems...
October 13, 2013
Non-religious jews are more likely to tell self-serving ‘white lies’ than religious jews
What would you do if fate had been a little unkind to you, but you...
September 28, 2013
Do the right thing and hang the consequences!
Is it ever OK to break the rules? Are some values simply sacred, never to...
September 18, 2013
Does science make you moral?
Over the years there have been quite a number of studies that have looked at...
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