Miguel Farias

Dr, Experimental Psychology

  • 574 Citations
  • 13 h-Index
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Personal profile


I began my academic career at the University of Lisbon, where I studied psychology and psychotherapy, before moving to Oxford to do my doctorate with Dr Mansur Lalljee and Prof Gordon Claridge. Following my DPhil, I was a postdoctoral research fellow at the Ian Ramsey Centre in Oxford, a research associate at the Psychology of Religion Group in Cambridge, and a lecturer at the Department of Experimental Psychology, University of Oxford. In 2014, I joined Coventry University to lead the Brain, Belief and Behaviour research group. With philosophers and neuroscientists, I have pioneered research on the analgesic effects of religious beliefs and the stress-buffering effects of science beliefs. I have led the first randomized-controlled trial on the effects of yoga and meditation in prison and have recently co-written a book that examines the science and myths about the effects of these practices — The Buddha Pill: Can Meditation Change You? Read an extract here.

Research Interests

Social cognition; Psychology of belief; Personality and mental health

Vision Statement

My primary research explores the biological roots and psychological impact of beliefs and spiritual practices, including meditation. I use a combination of experimental methods from social and biological psychology, personality theory, and cognitive neurosciences. I am currently writing about the effects of meditation and conducting new research on the modification of beliefs.

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  • 2 Similar Profiles
Meditation Medicine & Life Sciences
Mindfulness Medicine & Life Sciences
Mental Health Medicine & Life Sciences
Religion Medicine & Life Sciences
Yoga Medicine & Life Sciences
Anxiety Medicine & Life Sciences
Personality Medicine & Life Sciences
existential anxiety Social Sciences

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Research Output 2005 2019

The effects of belief in God and science on acute stress

Farias, M. & Newheiser, A-K. 25 Feb 2019 In : Psychology of Consciousness: Theory, Research, and Practice. (In-press), p. (In-press)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
European Union
Exercise Test
Psychological Stress

Atheists on the Santiago way

Farias, M., Coleman III, T. J., Bartlett, J. E., Oviedo, L., Soares, P., Santos, T. & del Carmen Bas, M. 12 Jun 2018 In : Sociology of Religion. (in press), p. (In-Press) 17 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Citations (Scopus)

The limited prosocial effects of meditation: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Kreplin, U., Farias, M. & Brazil, I. A. 2018 Scientific Reports, 8, p. 2403

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle

Open Access
social behavior
1 Citations (Scopus)

How to tell a happy from an unhappy schizotype: Personality factors and mental health outcomes in individuals with psychotic experiences

Alminhana, L. O., Farias, M., Claridge, G., Cloninger, C. R. & Moreira-Almeida, A. 2017 In : Revista Braslileira de Psiquiatria. 39, 2, p. 126-132 7 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
Mental Health
Personality Tests
Equipment and Supplies
1 Citations (Scopus)

Self-Directedness Predicts Quality of Life in Individuals with Psychotic Experiences: A 1-Year Follow-Up Study

Alminhana, L. O., Farias, M., Claridge, G., Cloninger, C. R. & Moreira-Almeida, A. 2017 In : Psychopathology. 50, 4, p. 239-245 7 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Quality of Life

Activities 2014 2015

  • 4 Participation in conference

Battle of Ideas

Farias, M. (Speaker)
17 Oct 201518 Oct 2015

Activity: Participation in conference

5th symposium on the Structure of Creditions

Farias, M. (Speaker)
21 Oct 201523 Oct 2015

Activity: Participation in conference

Psychology of Religion Biannual Conference

Farias, M. (Speaker)
9 Nov 201512 Nov 2015

Activity: Participation in conference

7th Francophone Conference in Medicine and Spirituality

Farias, M. (Keynote Speaker)
18 Oct 201419 Oct 2014

Activity: Participation in conference


William Bier Award from the American Psychological Association

Miguel Farias (Recipient), 1 Mar 2017

Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

Psychology of Religion
Psychology of Spirituality

Press / Media

Why do people believe in God?

Miguel Farias


1 media contribution

Press/Media: Research