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Author Topic:   Loneliness and Belief
Archer Opteryx
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Posts: 1811
From: East Asia
Joined: 08-16-2006
Member Rating: 4.0


(1)
Message 1 of 22 (450086)
01-20-2008 3:00 PM


And it was not good for the creature to be alone...

A recent study conducted at the University of Chicago found that people are more likely to believe in supernatural beings when they are lonely.

The same state of loneliness that increases belief in supernatural beings also leads to an increase in the tendency to ascribe human attributes to animals and objects. When human beings lack companionship, the study suggests, we invent it.

As reported in ScienceDaily (20 January):


The researchers designed three experiments to test their expectations that lonely people are more likely to make up for their lack of social connection by creating humanlike connections with gadgets or pets, or to increase their belief in the supernatural.

In one experiment, the team found a correlation between how lonely people felt and their tendency to describe a gadget in terms of humanlike mental states.

In another experiment, the team made people feel lonely in the laboratory by asking them to write about a time when they felt lonely or isolated. Under those circumstances, they were more likely to believe in the supernatural, whether it be God, angels or miracles, than when they were not feeling lonely.

. . . .

The research further revealed that not just any negative emotional state produces this effect. "It's something special about loneliness," [Nicholas] Epley [of the University of Chicago] said. Fear, for example, doesn't increase reported belief in God, or how people describe their pets.

Loneliness is both painful to experience and potentially deadly. "It's actually a greater risk for morbidity or mortality than cigarette smoking is. Being lonely is a bad thing for you," he said.

The full ScienceDaily story appears here:
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080118125835.htm


Archer

All species are transitional.


Replies to this message:
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Archer Opteryx
Member
Posts: 1811
From: East Asia
Joined: 08-16-2006
Member Rating: 4.0


Message 14 of 22 (450292)
01-21-2008 2:11 PM
Reply to: Message 4 by Larni
01-21-2008 10:33 AM


Interesting comment, Larni.

Could you say a little more about imprinting?


Archer

All species are transitional.


This message is a reply to:
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Archer Opteryx
Member
Posts: 1811
From: East Asia
Joined: 08-16-2006
Member Rating: 4.0


Message 15 of 22 (450293)
01-21-2008 2:15 PM
Reply to: Message 5 by Hyroglyphx
01-21-2008 11:24 AM


Re: Anything but God

Forgive my saying so, but this just seems to be yet another, "Let's try to explain why the concept of God seems so pervasive, all the while denying the possibility that such a Being could exist".

I don't see any denial, NJ. I see neutrality. The researchers take no stand on the likelihood of supernatural beings existing, just as they take no stand on whether our pets are like us or not like us.


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