Sunday, May 18, 2014

Obvious: Poll finds liberals lie about their religious beliefs like they do everything else...

Liberals love to lie...
A study released Saturday found that Americans tend to exaggerate their religious beliefs—and that liberals are more guilty of it than conservatives.

The Public Religion Research Institute asked participants about their religious affiliation, their belief in God, how often they attend religious services and the importance of religion in their lives. Roughly half were interviewed over the phone and the other half answered an online questionnaire. Of the people interviewed over the phone, 43 percent said they attended religious ceremonies and 27 percent said religion is the most important thing in their lives. Among online respondents, those numbers dropped to 30 percent and 20 percent, respectively.

Why the difference in results? Talking to another human, even an anonymous one, can cause respondents to exaggerate the truth. “It is a rather unconscious cognitive bias,” says John R. Shook, a professor in the Science and the Public EdM online program at the University of Buffalo. “Even if you talk to a live human voice, someone you will never see, someone in Zaire, the brain rationalizes and tries to present itself in the most positive light possible. You can’t help it.”

But it seems that when it comes to worship attendance, liberals are more inclined to do so. PRRI found that over the phone, only 27 percent of self-identified liberals admitted that religion is not important to them; the number jumped to 40 percent of liberals who responded to an online questionnaire. Conservatives were much more consistent: Only 4 percent of telephone respondents and 6 percent of online respondents said the same.

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