Does the belief in guardian angels make people more cautious?

Risk Perception and Belief in Guardian Spirits

From SAGE Open

While many believe that guardian angels watch over to keep them safe in a dangerous world, this study finds that those who believe are actually less inclined to take risks despite this believed protection. Researchers surveyed 198 individuals and found that of those who believe in guardian angels, 68% said that this belief affects how they take risks. While some expressed that the belief in guardian angels might make them more risky, the majority are more averse to taking risks than their non-believing counterparts. “It may be that 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,” the researchers commented.


People do not respond directly to the risks around them, but rather to their perception of those risks. These perceptions can be affected by many factors, including the degree to which people feel protected, and within that context beliefs in guardian angels or spirits can be a significant factor in some cases. In a survey of risk perception, it is shown that this belief does correlate with how people perceive risk, but in a complex way that may increase or decrease risk-taking behavior, with the latter being the more dominant theme.

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Article details
Risk Perception and Belief in Guardian Spirits
David Etkin, Jelena Ivanova, Susan MacGregor, Tali Serota
SAGE OpenSep 2014,4(3)DOI: 10.1177/2158244014549741



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