Belief in guardian angels cuts down risky behavior

Belief in guardian angels cuts down risky behavior

Have you ever been in a potentially dangerous situation and seemingly out of nowhere you’re spared any harm—just in the nick of time? Some people consider those life-saving acts the work of guardian angels.

It would stand to reason then that those believers would take more chances knowing a guardian angel has their backs. Ironically, however, a new study reports that those who believe in these miracle workers are less likely to be risk-takers.

According to study results published in late September in the journal SAGE Open, while some felt that belief in guardians angels might make their behavior more risky, most believers were far less inclined to take risks than their non-believing counterparts.

Researchers surveyed nearly 200 individuals on dangerous behavior. Participants were asked their opinion, for example, about risky driving. Most of the participants who did not believe in guardian angels rated driving 12 miles per hour over the speed limit at a risk level of two on a scale of one to five, with five being risky. Those who believe in guardian angels, however, rated the risk level at a three.

Of those who believed in guardian angels, almost 70 percent said that this belief affects how they take risks.

Researchers offered one hypothesis for the behavior. The team thought that maybe people who have a tendency to view the world as being risky or potentially dangerous are more inclined to have a belief in personal guardian spirits.

Bonnie Condon, vice president of faith outreach and mission integration for Advocate Health Care in Downers Grove, Ill., offers a more metaphysical perspective.

“People who believe in guardian angels often have a deep sense of connection to loved ones who have gone before them,” Condon says. “I think it is possible that people who feel they are being lovingly watched may tend to be more careful about how they are living each moment.”

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  1. This is clearly a correlation study. This is not a causal study. It could be that those who believe in guardian angels, within this study, are 75+ years old and going 5 mph over the speed limit would be incredibly risky behavior to them, and everyone who didn’t believe in guardian angels was 20 something and to them going 30+ mph over the speed limit is at most “possibly risky” behavior. In this case risky behavior is probably more directly connected with age and is just coincidently connected with belief in these specific angels. A better understanding of the study would be nice, if it could be linked. Plus…think of all those poor people who didn’t come out of the situations “harm free”…pretty lazy guardian angels there is you ask me.

  2. Evest A. borussad II October 6, 2014 at 10:29 am · Reply

    I believe my guardian angel protects me from physical harm of which I am not aware. If I know something is dangerous well thats my responsibility.

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health enews Staff
health enews Staff

health enews staff is a group of experienced writers from our Advocate Health Care and Aurora Health Care sites, which also includes freelance or intern writers.