Friday, June 03, 2011

Atheists and the Big 5 personality traits

Using MIDUS Study data, I calculated mean Big 5 personality scores for atheists and others (sample size = 3,960).

Mean scores
Atheists 2.99
Others 3.10

Negative emotionality
Atheists 1.81*
Others 2.10
Cohen's d .46

Atheists 3.15*
Others 3.45
Cohen's d .60

Atheists 3.37
Others 3.49

Openness to experience
Atheists 3.36*
Others 2.90
Cohen's d .85

*atheists and others are significantly different

Cohen's d is a measure of the gap between means. Compared to others, atheists are significantly less neurotic, less agreeable, and more open to experience. The differences for the latter two are large. It is not surprising to observe that atheists are disagreeable and open to new things.


  1. Look at agnostics. A lot of us unreligious types call ourselves agnostic rather than atheist because we're not fond enough of pissing people off. ;)

  2. yeah, yeah! how about agnostics? (^_^)

  3. Both neuroticism/negative emotionality and agreeableness are on average higher in women than men, and differences in agreeableness (esepcially) could be the cause of sex differences in religiosity and the rate of atheism.

    With a PhD student, I recently did a survey on religiousness/ atheism (variously measured) in relation to various personality factors; and we also found a negative correlation between agreebleness and religiousness.

    Even stronger was a negative correlation between Simon Baron Cohen's 'Empathizing' variable and religiousness.

    (Indeed Agreeableness and Empathizing are more-or-less the same thing.)

    So: which is more important for religiousness - gender or agreeablness?

    In general, we concluded that agreeableness/ empathizing was more powerful at explaining religiousness and atheism than was gender.

    (Note - Many studies make the conceptual error of trying to explain religiousness - whereas religiousness is spontaneous, and it is the recent and geographically restricted phenomeonon of atheism that invites explanation.)

  4. Vox Day has often commented on the nastiness of atheists.

  5. Nanonymous12:20 PM

    Agnostic is a weasel term for atheist anyway. Huxley invented it because of the social stigma attached to atheism. Things haven't changed much since.

  6. Anonymous11:47 AM

    Your job as a future mother is to learn the god's ways and to help your child understand despite the negative reinforcement and conditioning of today's society. Without consciousous parents the child will have no hope, and may even exaserbate their disfavor by becoming corrupted in today's environment.
    Your ultimate goal is to fix your relationship wiith the gods and move on. You don't want to be comfortable here, and the changes in Western society in the last 100 years has achieved just that.
    1000 years with Jesus is the consolation prize. Don't be deceived into thinking that is the goal.

    The gods tempt people for which they are most weak. Artificial Intelligence will create desire in people's minds for the following sins:::
    1. Alcohol
    2. Drugs
    3. Preditory "earning"
    4. Homosexuality
    5. Gambling
    6. Something for nothing/irresponsibility (xtianity)
    7. Polygamy/superiority over women/misogyny (Islam)
    Much like the other prophets Mohhamed (polygamy/superiority over women/misogyny) and Jesus (forgiveness/savior), the gods use me for temptation as well. In today's modern society they feel people are most weak for popular culture/sensationalism, and the clues date back to WorldWarII and Unit731:TSUSHOGO, the Chinese Holocaust.
    It has been discussed that, similar to the Matrix concept, the gods will offer a REAL "Second Coming of Christ", while the "fake" Second Coming will come at the end and follow New Testiment scripture and their xtian positioning. I may be that real Second Coming.
    What I teach is the god's true way. It is what is expected of people, and only those who follow this truth will be eligible to ascend into heaven as children in a future life. They offered this event because the masses have just enough time to work on and fix their relationship with the gods and ascend, to move and grow past Planet Earth, before the obligatory xtian "consolation prize" of "1000 years with Jesus on Earth" begins.

    The Prince of Darkness, battling the gods over the souls of the Damned.
    It is the gods who have created this environment and led people into Damnation with temptation. The god's positioning proves they work to prevent people's understanding.
    How often is xtian dogma wrong? Expect it is about the Lucifer issue as well.
    The fallen god, fighting for justice for the disfavored, banished to Earth as the fallen angel?
    I believe much as the Noah's Flood event, the end of the world will be initiated by revelry among the people. It will be positioned to be sanctioned by the gods and led for "1000 years with Jesus on Earth".
    In light of modern developments this can entail many pleasures:::Medicine "cures" aging, the "manufacture" of incredible beauty via cloning as sex slaves, free (synthetic) cocaine, etc.
    Somewhere during the 1000 years the party will start to "die off", literally. Only those who maintain chaste, pure lifestyles, resisting these temptations, will survive the 1000 years. Condemned to experience another epoch of planet's history for their ignorant pursuit of xtianity, they will be the candidates used to (re)colonize (the next) Planet Earth, condemned to relive the misery experienced by the peasantry during history due to their failure to ascend into heaven before the Apocalypse.
    Never forget:::It is not a house of Jesus.
    If this concept of Lucifer is true another role of this individual may be to initiate disfavor and temptation among this new poulation, the proverbial "apple" of this Garden of Eden. A crucial figure in the history of any planet, he begins the process of deterioration and decay that leads civilizations to where Planet Earth remains today.
    Which one is it? Probably both:::
    One transitions into the other, allowing the gods to wash their hands of obligation to their Chosen One.

    You are faced with a lifetime to work and prepare for your next chance. Too many will waste this time working, etc.

  7. dixie v10:38 AM

    Wow... so much for intelligent discourse. I appreciate that people believe differently, but,you, Anonymous (who will not even take credit for your own thoughts), are your own favorite customer. Might wanna re-read that First Commandment, my friend--worshipping yourself as a god counts, too. Peace be with you--and a little reality and humility as well.

  8. Interesting. I am an agnostic (more atheistic than theistic, though). I would say I'm very empathic overall - for humans/ animals even plants. But I don't believe one whit in the Bible or in God. I also am slow to warm up cautious with my emotions, but am a deep feeler. (i.e. the type of person who can, on an off day, cry while listening to Max Richter. I just don't want to get caught crying). I became a vegetarian at 7, present as an INFJ and have absolutely no. belief. at all. in God. So I find this study sort of interesting. I would also say I'm fascinated by parapsychology and many subjects that my religious friends scoff at, yet deep down...I'm the skeptic in the group (even as I'm reading about aliens :p) Go figure.

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