Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Meta-analysis: Religious people do less self-injury

This new meta-analysis synthesizes the results from 16 studies (total sample of 24,767) that examined the relationship between religiosity and non-suicidial self-injury (e.g., small cuts on one's arms).  The researchers found a small negative correlation, meaning that more religious people are less likely to intentionally injure themselves.

This result is based on correlations which don't tell us what is causing what. Religious involvement could lower self-injury, or some trait like good mental health could both lead to more church and less hurting oneself.

Since I've come to see biology as so important for explaining behavior, I'm inclined to interpret the MANY ways religiosity predicts good outcomes to mean that people who have positive traits are more likely to value religion. I'm inclined to see religiosity as a marker of positive traits.

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