Dan Ariely
Professor of Behavioral Economics, Duke University
00:52

The Irrational Value of Faith and Religion

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Research shows how wonderful religious beliefs are for morality in society, and for people’s behavioral decisions.

Dan Ariely

Dan Ariely is the James B Duke Professor of Psychology and Behavioral Economics at Duke University. He is the founder of The Center for Advanced Hindsight and co-founder of BEworks, which helps business leaders apply scientific thinking to their marketing and operational challenges. His books include Predictably Irrational and The Upside of Irrationality, both of which became New York Times best-sellers. as well as The Honest Truth about Dishonesty and his latest, Irrationally Yours.

Ariely publishes widely in the leading scholarly journals in economics, psychology, and business. His work has been featured in a variety of media including The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Boston Globe, Business 2.0, Scientific American, Science and CNN.

Transcript

Question: Are faith and religion irrational? 

Dan Ariely: So I think it’s a very helpful belief.  So from that perspective I think it’s very useful.  Thinking about dying is very unpleasant.  It’s something that actually causes us not to take care of our savings and so on, so it’s very helpful.  I also think that our research shows how wonderful religious beliefs are for morality in society, and for people’s decisions to behave . . . to behave well.  So from many ways, I would say that religious beliefs are very helpful, are very positive, are very good ...individual and society.

Recorded on: Feb 19 2008

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