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The Myth of the Angry Atheist

Meier, Brian P and Fetterman, Adam K and Robinson, Michael D and Lappas, Courtney M (2015) 'The Myth of the Angry Atheist.' The Journal of Psychology, 149 (3). pp. 219-238. ISSN 0022-3980

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Abstract

Atheists are often portrayed in the media and elsewhere as angry individuals. Although atheists disagree with the pillar of many religions, namely the existence of a God, it may not necessarily be the case that they are angry individuals. The prevalence and accuracy of angry-atheist perceptions were examined in 7 studies with 1,677 participants from multiple institutions and locations in the United States. Studies 1–3 revealed that people believe atheists are angrier than believers, people in general, and other minority groups, both explicitly and implicitly. Studies 4–7 then examined the accuracy of these beliefs. Belief in God, state anger, and trait anger were assessed in multiple ways and contexts. None of these studies supported the idea that atheists are particularly angry individuals. Rather, these results support the idea that people believe atheists are angry individuals, but they do not appear to be angrier than other individuals in reality.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: anger, atheism, atheist, belief in God, personality, stereotypes
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health > Psychology, Department of
Depositing User: Jim Jamieson
Date Deposited: 22 Sep 2015 14:54
Last Modified: 17 Dec 2015 11:26
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/14970

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