Register to ask Dr. Bo a question, or comment on any question/answer.

one moment please...

Bo takes a critical thinking-, reason-, and science-based approach to issues that matter with the goal of educating and entertaining. You create the show by submitting your questions here. Bo has a PhD in social psychology, but covers a broad range of topics including: Science Education (scientific method, what is / is not science, etc.), Success, Entrepreneurship, Motivation, General Psychology, Social Psychology, Positive Psychology (well-being, flourishing, happiness, etc.), Cognitive Psychology (belief, cognitive biases, memory, our flawed brain, etc.), General Social Science, Critical Thinking, Logical Fallacies, Humanism / Secularism, and even some Philosophy. All (reasonable) questions will be answered here, and some will be the material for the Dr. Bo Show.

The first two years of shows have been compiled into the book, Reason: Book I. This book is available in hardcover, ebook, and audiobook through Amazon and all major ebook retailers.

Q&A Home Contact Form

Send me a copy of this message
Send Message sending message...

Q&A Home Question



image loading...
Dudley Dowell
Wed, Dec 31, 2014 - 12:00 AM

Is it true that studies have shown that religious people are happier than those who are not religious?

1 Answer


Answer Accepted!

image loading...
Bo Bennett, PhD
Host, Doctor of Social Psychology


image loading...

Bo Bennett, PhD

Host, Doctor of Social Psychology


About Bo Bennett, PhD

I am the host of this show :) For my complete bio, please see
PrintWed, Dec 31, 2014 - 12:00 AM
Yes, but studies have demonstrated the opposite, as well. For example, Scandinavian countries, such as Denmark (#1), are among the happiest countries in the world (“Get happy in the world’s happiest countries,” n.d.)—they are also the least religious (“Religiosity Highest in World’s Poorest Nations,” n.d.). There are many moderating factors that relate happiness to religion, one of which is holding the majority belief in one's culture and the social acceptance that it brings. Perhaps the most significant moderator is social connectedness (Diener, Tay, & Myers, 2011; Lewis & Cruise, 2006; Lewis, Maltby, & Burkinshaw, 2000).

We need to be careful when making claims such "religion makes people happy" when it is actually certain aspects of religion that lead to increased happiness. Claiming that religion makes people happy when it is actually social connectedness is like claiming that ice cubes cause liver damage instead of the Jim Beam that they keep cold.


Diener, E., Tay, L., & Myers, D. G. (2011). The religion paradox: If religion makes people happy, why are so many dropping out? Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 101(6), 1278–1290. doi:10.1037/a0024402
Get happy in the world’s happiest countries. (n.d.). CNN. Retrieved April 2, 2014, from
Lewis, C. A., & Cruise, S. M. (2006). Religion and happiness: Consensus, contradictions, comments and concerns. Mental Health, Religion & Culture, 9(3), 213–225. doi:10.1080/13694670600615276
Lewis, C. A., Maltby, J., & Burkinshaw, S. (2000). Religion and Happiness: Still no association. Journal of Beliefs & Values, 21(2), 233–236. doi:10.1080/713675504
Religiosity Highest in World’s Poorest Nations. (n.d.). Retrieved April 2, 2014, from

Bo Bennett, PhD
My Latest Book:
About Me:

Quick Comment On This Answer (no login required):
Your comment below will be anonymously sent to the answer owner, it will not be posted, and you will not get a response.

Send Comment sending comment...

Registered User Comments

 Copyright 2017, Archieboy Holdings, LLC.