Thursday, December 9, 2010
Why are Religious People Happier?
It's their friends at church, according to the study just published in the American Journal of Sociology and reported here and here . People who report going to church more often also report higher happiness. And it is appears that the number of close friends at church explains this pattern. Moreover, individuals with a larger proportion of close friends at church report higher life satisfaction than those with the same number of close friends but where those friends are not at church. The authors conclude that it is a social mechanism for how religion improves happiness rather than a theological or spiritual one.