Religious Belief Linked to Loneliness

Study also associates love for pets, computers with social isolation
By Caroline Zimmerman,  Newser User
Posted Jan 24, 2008 8:05 PM CST

(Newser) – Most people can't stomach loneliness, and they're more prone to believing in the supernatural or creating strong bonds with pets and household objects to compensate, a new study finds. It's a throwback to our ancestors, who relied on group living to survive, LiveScience reports. "Being socially isolated is just not good for you," said the lead scientist.

The team induced feelings of loneliness in one group by showing them clips from the Tom Hanks' deserted-island film "Cast Away." After the clip, the group showed a greater tendency to believe in miracles, ghosts and God, and in attaching anthropomorphic characteristics to pets, than the control group. But why spiritual beliefs and pets are comforting remains a mystery.