Saturday, June 22, 2013

Tweets Show that Christians Happier than Atheists

From the University of Illinois comes this study. Perhaps you have seen reports about it, since it has been picked by multiple news feeds. My quotes are from this Pacific Standard article.

Researchers compared the tweets of well known religious figures against well known atheists figures looking for:

... the relative frequency of words expressing positive and negative emotions. They also looked at the usage of terms indicating social interaction (such as “friend”), and the presence of terms associated with intellectual analysis (including “think” and “consider”).

The results were not surprising .

In their tweets, Christians expressed more positive emotions, and fewer negative ones, than their atheist counterparts. In contrast, the non-believers tended to use “a more analytical thinking style,” which, the researchers write, is “associated with less happiness.”

“Christian followers were more likely to use insight words characterized by certainty and emotion, whereas atheist followers were more likely to use insight words characterized by skepticism and analysis,” they report. “The percentage of words expressing certainty was higher among Christian tweets than atheist tweets.”

In addition, “Christians talked more about social processes than atheists, which was in turn associated with more happiness,” the researchers write. “On average, 9.36 percent of words used by Christian followers were related to social processes, compared to 8.08 percent among atheist followers. [This is] consistent with the hypothesis that religion promotes social support and social connectivity.”

Like I said, I'm really not surprised. Based on my interactions with atheists and believers, I have found that those with a deep faith are able to cope better with life situations,  approach life's unavoidable trials with a better attitude and are generally more positive about the future than non-believers.

"Viva Cristo Rey!!"