Interdisciplinary Journal of Research on ReligionInstitute for Studies of Relgion
IJRR :: 2012 Volume 8 :: Article 9
2012 Volume 8, Article 9
Whom Do People Dislike More: Atheists or Cultists?

Author: Ryan T. Cragun (University of Tampa), Patrick Henry (Eckerd College), Casey P. Homan (University of California, Berkeley), and Joseph Hammer (Iowa State University)

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It has been widely observed over the last several years that atheists are not well liked in the United States. Yet there is one group in the United States with whom atheists have not been compared: "cultists." Using data from four surveys of three different populations, this article compares attitudes toward atheists with attitudes toward people who are labeled as cultists. The data indicate that people who are labeled as cultists are viewed even more negatively than are atheists. Furthermore, whereas a number of variables predict attitudes toward atheists, none of the independent variables in the present study are statistically significant predictors of attitudes toward cultists, who were universally disliked across respondents.

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