By Sam VastbergA science and religion graduate student has published a paper showing that religious people tend to be more likely to be very religious than secular people.
According to the study, published this week in the journal Science, religious people are more likely than non-religious people to say that religion is essential to their lives and to feel a strong sense of identity and belonging.
“Our findings suggest that religious belief may be a key factor in people’s well-being, especially among those who do not identify with any religious group,” study co-author Christiane Hochberg told The Associated Press by email.
She added that the study suggests that religious beliefs can be more meaningful to people than secular beliefs.
“This is an important finding that helps to understand the role religion plays in our lives and our relationship with others,” Hochburg said.
The study looked at more than 8,000 Americans from the National Opinion Research Center’s General Social Survey.
The survey asked respondents whether they consider themselves a religious person, a non-religion person or not religious at all.
The findings showed that religious folks are more religiously observant than nonreligious people.
For example, the study found that a quarter of the religiously observantly unaffiliated reported that they have a religious service a month or more a year, compared to just 3 percent of non-observant religious people.
“There are more religious people in the U.S. than nonreligion people.
But for many of these people, their religion doesn’t make up for their lack of affiliation with any particular religious group.
That’s a very significant finding,” Hohberg said.