Tuesday, August 07, 2012
Religiosity and crime
I ran across this meta-analysis of 60 studies that found that religiosity reduces criminal involvement. Byron Johnson in his book More God, Less Crime goes much further and reviews over 300 studies. He finds that all but a handful of studies show the same irreligiosity-crime link. Quite a few of his studies were published in psychology journals, so at least some of them should have controlled for individual differences. (I can't say for sure--who has time to review 300 studies?) This is probably less of an issue since most of these studies are of adolescents who are often made to attend religious services whether they want to attend or not. This should reduce self-selection.