For nearly all my adult life I have been told that about 45 percent of Americans attend religious services (primarily Christian or Jewish) each weekend.
The Wall Street Journal of 8/2/08 had an interesting article (“When Voters Lie”) that showed, perhaps, we’ve been overestimating that number. And the way we’re polled may explain why.
When asked if they attend religious services most weeks, 56 percent of those asked by a human interviewer said they did. However, when people responded to that same question posed by an online computer survey, with no human interviewer involved, only 25 percent responded positively.
Something in us still wants to hold up religiosity as a positive trait when we interact with others, but the second it’s an impersonal connection, the truth comes out.
What’s your take on this phenomenon?