According to the 2008 American Religious Identification Survey (ARIS), Americans are increasingly self-identifying as nonreligious. What are the nature and consequences of identifying as nonreligious in a country where 70% of the population believes in a personal God (Kosmin & Keysar, 2009)?
While the social sciences have produced a large amount of scholarship on religiousness and spirituality in recent decades, they have largely neglected the study of atheism and nonreligion (Miller & Kelly, 2005; Pasquale, 2007). Indeed, while atheism has been thoroughly dissected in philosophy, theology, anthropology, history, and anecdotal discussion, peer-reviewed empirical studies on the topic are few and far between. Furthermore, many of the the peer-reviewed studies that tangentially address the nature and consequences of nonreligion (e.g., by looking at the relationship between religiosity and health) have conceptual and methodological limitations that often restrict the reliability and validity of their findings (Sloan, 2006; Sloan & Bagiella, 2002; Wulff, 2003; Kirkpatrick & Hood, 1990).
The Atheist Research Collaborative (ARC) was founded to help address this situation. A collaborative effort among social scientists, the ARC serves as a nonpartisan Internet hub for psychological and sociological research on atheism and nonreligion. While we collect research data via traditional sampling methods, we are also invested in providing individuals from around the world with the chance to actively participate in cutting-edge academic research on nonreligion via Internet-accessible studies. If you would like to lend your opinion and voice to our research, please click on “Current Research Studies”. The ARC will continue to make new study participation opportunities available to people from across the (non)religious spectrum. If you would like to be notified when a new study opportunity is posted to the site, sign up for “New Study Alerts”.
Furthermore, please contact the ARC if:
- you are a student or professional interested in studying nonreligious individuals using social science methods and theories, and would like to explore potential opportunities for collaborative research with ARC researchers. In your email, please describe your past research experience and what research questions or topics you are interested in exploring
- your organization supports the mission of the ARC, and would like to discuss the establishment of a link exchange between your website and the ARC’s (i.e., a Site Partnership)
- you have questions or comments about the ARC
Kirkpatrick, L. A., & Hood, R. W., Jr. (1990). Intrinsic-extrinsic religious orientation: The boon or bane of contemporary psychology of religion? Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 29, 442-462.
Kosmin, B., & Keysar, G. (2009). American Religious Identification Survey 2008: Summary Report. Hartford, CT: Trinity College.
Miller, L., & Kelley, B. (2005). Relationships of religiosity and spirituality with mental health and psychopathology In R. F. Paloutzian & C. L. Park (Eds.), Handbook of the Psychology of Religion and Spirituality (pp. 459-478). New York, NY: Guilford Press.
Pasquale, F. (2007). Unbelief and irreligion, empirical study and neglect of. In The New Encyclopedia of Unbelief (pp. 760-766). Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books.
Sloan, R., (2006). Blind faith. New York: St. Martin’s Press.
Sloan, R., & Bagiella, E. (2002). Claims about religious involvement and health outcomes. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 24, 14-21.
Wulff, D. M. (2003). A field in crisis: Is it time for the psychology of religion to start over? In P. H. M. P. Roelofsma, J. M. T. Corveleyn, and J. W. Van Saane (Eds.), A Hundred Years of Psychology of Religion: Issues and Trends in a Century Long Quest (pp. 1-17). Amsterdam: VU University Press.