alexa Variables that Predict Affirmative Responses to the Item If God Told Me to Kill I Would Do it in His Name: Implications for Radical Religious Behaviours
ISSN: 2167-0358

Journal of Socialomics
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Research Article

Variables that Predict Affirmative Responses to the Item If God Told Me to Kill I Would Do it in His Name: Implications for Radical Religious Behaviours

Michael A Persinger*

Departments of Psychology and Biology, Laurentian University, Sudbury, Ontario, P3E 2C6, Canada

Corresponding Author:
Michael A Persinger
Human Studies, Behavioral Neuroscience and Biomolecular Sciences Programs
Departments of Psychology and Biology, Laurentian University
Sudbury, Ontario, P3E 2C6, Canada
Tel: 7056751151
E-mail: [email protected]

Received date: May 04, 2016; Accepted date: May 21, 2016; Published date: May 26, 2016

Citation: Persinger MA (2016) Variables that Predict Affirmative Responses to the Item “If God Told Me to Kill I Would Do it in His Name”: Implications for Radical Religious Behaviours. J Socialomics 5: 1000166. doi:10.41 72/2167-0358.1000166

Copyright: © 2016 Persinger MA. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited



Groups of people who feel sanctioned by God or some equivalent perceived Deity to kill other groups of people who are considered external to the group sometimes constitute armies that eliminate others because they are different. Multiple regression was employed to discern which items from the Personal Philosophy Inventory administered to over 1,200 first year university students over 11 years predicted an affirmative response to the item “If God told me to kill I would do it in His name”. About 7% of the population answered “yes” to this item. Affirmative responders also stated that: they were “special agents of God”, people should be guided to ensure spiritual development and they went to church weekly. They also believed a sign would be given when a tough decision was to be made. Individuals who stated they would kill in God’s name endorsed more traditional religious beliefs than exotic beliefs. The consistency of the pattern over time for this population of normal young people living in an indentified democratic country suggested a potential trait (that if applied over large populations) might produce theme-congruent behaviors. Knowing the characteristics of individuals who respond in this manner might facilitate the development of strategies to reduce the dangerous applications of these beliefs and their recruitment by extremists groups


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