Fire, brimstone, eternal suffering — hell is not a pleasant concept. But research has pointed to the societal benefits of a belief in supernatural punishment, including higher economic growth in developing countries and less crime.
By Wynne Perry – HUFFPOST Science
But there are also drawbacks, even in this life. A new study links believing in hell, and perhaps even thinking about it, with lower levels of happiness and satisfaction in life.
„It seems there is this trade-off,“ said Azim Shariff, an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Oregon.
In research published in January in PLOS ONE, Shariff and a colleague looked at international survey data to see how belief in heaven and hell affected people’s daily emotional states, along with a more long-term measure, life satisfaction. [8 Ways Religion Impacts Your Life]