PLOS ONE journal/University of North Carolina/Joshua Conrad Jackson, Neil Hester and Kurt Gray

Researchers issue e-fit of God

Wed 13 Jun 2018
By Alex Williams

A computer-generated image has been released by academics who asked hundreds of American Christians what they think about God's appearance.

Researchers at the University of North Carolina found believers in the United States generally consider God to be young, Caucasian and loving.

In their study, they reported perceptions vary according to an individual's own political views and physical appearance.


They were also shown to see God as similar to them in terms of attractiveness, age and - to a lesser extent - race.

The authors concluded the liberals see God as relatively more feminine, more African American and more loving than conservatives.

In contrast, conservatives were more like to consider the author of creation as older, more intelligent and more powerful.

Published in the PLOS ONE journal, they said: "These differences are consistent with past research showing that people's views of God are shaped by their group-based motivations and cognitive biases.

PLOS ONE journal/University of North Carolina/Joshua Conrad Jackson, Neil Hester and Kurt Gray


"Our results also speak to the broad scope of religious differences: even people of the same nationality and the same faith appear to think differently about God's appearance."

The study, entitled 'The Faces of God in America', which conducted by Joshua Conrad Jackson, Neil Hester and Kurt Gray. Some 511 American Christians took part - 330 men and 181 women.

The authors also said: "As faces communicate both physical and psychological information, this measure also provides insight into how believers conceptualise God's mind.

"By showing how these perceptions vary within a religion, we can better understand the motivational and cognitive factors that shape people's understanding of the divine."

There is no definitive information in the Bible concerning God's appearance.

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