A study out of the United Kingdom found that religiously inclined students make more moral decisions than their atheist or religiously unaffiliated peers.
Researchers from Birmingham University’s Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues said they found a correlation between faith and character building. Scientists analyzing results from the study said they based their conclusions off of questionnaires about moral judgments received from around 10,200 students in 68 schools across the United Kingdom.
Researchers used the Adolescent Intermediate Concepts Measure, a tool to measure each student’s moral judgment. The test presents students with a moral scenario and asks the adolescent to respond with how they would handle the situation, according to the study.
“Students who said that they were religious achieved higher Ad-ICM (UK) scores (46%) than those who selected atheist or did not provide a religion (42%); the difference was statistically significant,” the report stated.
The study also found that students who attended religious schools also scored higher than those who attended non-religious institutions.
Students who said they actively practiced their religion scored significantly higher than those who said they did not or chose not to disclose their religious practices.
“Those who said that they did (practice religion) scored 48% compared to those who did not (42%), or did not know/would rather not say (41%),” the study said.
While the study found correlations between faith and moral decision-making, researchers said people should not make direct conclusions about the data.
In a 2014 study, a group of researchers found those who witnessed a moral deed were more likely to perform a noble act. However, they were also more likely to allow themselves to act in an immoral fashion.
Some researchers said they think the results could be tied to religion's emphasis on community rather than a person making decisions with religious doctrine in mind.