A researcher has found that those who are involved in religion, go to church, and express their faith are generally perceived as more trustworthy.
Eleanor Power is an evolutionary anthropologist and Omidyar Postdoctoral Fellow at the Sante Fe Institute.
In an article for the Evolution Institute, Power shares her experience joining pilgrims where she lives in New Mexico as they celebrate the lead-up to Holy week.
Power was astounded to find that, although those participating in the religious pilgrimage, carrying crosses and “fulfilling vows and seeking blessings at the pilgrimage site,” were energized and invested in their pilgrimage, she herself was exhausted after walking and came home sore and tired. She concluded that the pilgrims’ faith gave them a supernatural strength which she didn’t possess.
According to Christian Today, in her research, Power also found that those who are religiously active tend to be perceived as more trustworthy.
“Experimental studies have found, for example, that we see people as more trustworthy if they show signs of membership to a religious community (say, a necklace with a cross), or adhere to religious dietary requirements (say, eating halal). Only those who are truly committed to the religious group and its beliefs, we seem to reason, will be willing to make such investments. They must be trustworthy,” she writes.
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Publication date: March 7, 2017