Kenneth Vail

Faith/Religion
8:00 am
Sat February 9, 2013

LISTEN: Researcher explores relationship between death, supernatural belief

Kenneth Vail is a researcher in the psychology department at MU. His recent research explores the connection between awareness of mortality and supernatural belief.
Kellie Kotraba/ColumbiaFAVS KBIA

Awareness of death can lead people to strengthen and defend their own religious beliefs, according to a recent psychological study led by MU researcher Kenneth Vail. 

And that doesn't just apply to those who believe in a higher power already.  

The foundation of Vail's researcg comes from the idea that part of the motivation for religious belief is the awareness of death – an idea that has deep philosophical roots, Vail said. Recent experimental research also points to the notion that people use belief to help manage awareness of mortality. 

Read more