Contact Us

Is There a Correlation to Believing in Hell and High Crime Rates?

Hell and Crime

It is a common belief that those who are religious live seemingly pure lives full of joyous content.

However, a new study suggests that it may actually be a belief in hell and supernatural punishment that motivates people to do good rather than faith in forgiveness and happily heaven after.

According to an analysis taken from a World Values and European Values survey of nearly 144,000 people in 67 countries between 1981 and 2007, psychologists have discovered lower crime rates in social climates where the majority of people believe in hell as opposed to those who believe in heaven.

Lead researcher Azim Shariff, director of the Culture and Mortality Lab at the University of Oregon, explained the results by saying:

The key finding is that, controlling for each other, a nation’s rate of belief in hell predicts lower crime rates, but the nation’s rate of belief in heaven predicts higher crime rates, and these are strong effects.

Shariff suggests that although religious belief is generally perceived as a colossal theory, once it is broken down into different concepts, different relationships begin to appear. In this case, they are two differences going in opposite directions.

Interestingly, previous research in both 2003 and 2011 by the International Journal for the Psychology of Religion and Harvard University also found that a belief in hell had more of an affect on social behaviors than a belief in heaven.

Researchers said their discoveries support previous findings that various dynamics in religious beliefs largely predict higher crime rates.

The study did account for factors like nations’ dominant religion, income inequality, life expectancy and incarceration rate.

[Medical Daily]

It appears that you already have an account created within our VIP network of sites on . To keep your personal information safe, we need to verify that it's really you. To activate your account, please confirm your password. When you have confirmed your password, you will be able to log in through Facebook on both sites.

Forgot your password?

It appears that you already have an account on this site associated with . To connect your existing account just click on the account activation button below. You will maintain your existing VIP profile. After you do this, you will be able to always log in to using your original account information.

Please fill out the information below to help us provide you a better experience.

(Forgot your password?)

Not a member? Sign up here

Sign up for TSM Interactive quickly by connecting your Facebook account. It's just as secure and no password to remember!