[Update-related article] In Atheists We Distrust
By DAISY GREWAL - SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN
Added: Tue, 17 Jan 2012 16:57:02 UTC
[Update 8pm GMT-7 Jan-17] Link to an article that was posted on Dec 1 on RD.net - both reference research by Will Gervais from the University of British Colombia
UBC study finds believers distrust atheists as much as rapists
Thanks to Neil5150 for the link
Subjects believe that people behave better when they think that God is watching over them.
Atheists are one of the most disliked groups in America. Only 45 percent of Americans say they would vote for a qualified atheist presidential candidate, and atheists are rated as the least desirable group for a potential son-in-law or daughter-in-law to belong to. Will Gervais at the University of British Columbia recently published a set of studies looking at why atheists are so disliked. His conclusion: It comes down to trust.
Gervais and his colleagues presented participants with a story about a person who accidentally hits a parked car and then fails to leave behind valid insurance information for the other driver. Participants were asked to choose the probability that the person in question was a Christian, a Muslim, a rapist, or an atheist. They thought it equally probable the culprit was an atheist or a rapist, and unlikely the person was a Muslim or Christian. In a different study, Gervais looked at how atheism influences people’s hiring decisions. People were asked to choose between an atheist or a religious candidate for a job requiring either a high or low degree of trust. For the high-trust job of daycare worker, people were more likely to prefer the religious candidate. For the job of waitress, which requires less trust, the atheists fared much better.
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