Divine risk-taking

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Religion may be the metaphysical drug, but like common narcotics could it have an impact on decision making? The answer may very well be yes. Students in the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University set out to find whether exposure to the concept and idea of God would impact how people made risky decisions.

The experiment involved running three ads, two of which advocated risky behavior and another which was a control. The risky behaviors were divided into a moral risk (bribery) and a non-moral risk (skydiving). There were two versions of each of these ads—one mentioned God and the other didn’t. Researchers found that more people clicked on the ad that mentioned a non-moral risky behavior when God was mentioned, and the opposite occurred in the morally risky ads. Perhaps this will be useful next time you want to get a Risk Taker sticker from your teachers.