• 721 Citations
  • 14 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.

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics where Miguel Farias is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Meditation Medicine & Life Sciences
Mindfulness Medicine & Life Sciences
Mental Health Medicine & Life Sciences
Religion Medicine & Life Sciences
Yoga Medicine & Life Sciences
Spirituality Medicine & Life Sciences
Anxiety Medicine & Life Sciences
Personality Medicine & Life Sciences

Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Research Output 2005 2020

2 Downloads (Pure)
Open Access
Mental Disorders
Opioid Analgesics
Immune System
Mental Health
Self Report
New Age
Implicit Measures
3 Citations (Scopus)

Atheists on the Santiago way

Farias, M., Coleman III, T. J., Bartlett, J. E., Oviedo, L., Soares, P., Santos, T. & del Carmen Bas, M., 2019, In : Sociology of Religion. 80, 1, p. 28–44 17 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

26 Downloads (Pure)

The effects of belief in God and science on acute stress

Farias, M. & Newheiser, A-K., 1 Jun 2019, In : Psychology of Consciousness: Theory, Research, and Practice. 6, 2, p. 214-223 10 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
European Union
Exercise Test
Psychological Stress
25 Citations (Scopus)
79 Downloads (Pure)

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

Activities 2014 2019

  • 5 Participation in conference

2019 International Society for Science and Religion

Sarah Jane Charles (Speaker), Miguel Farias (Speaker)
23 Jul 2019

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in conference

Battle of Ideas

Miguel Farias (Speaker)
17 Oct 201518 Oct 2015

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in conference

Psychology of Religion Biannual Conference

Miguel Farias (Speaker)
9 Nov 201512 Nov 2015

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in conference

5th symposium on the Structure of Creditions

Miguel Farias (Speaker)
21 Oct 201523 Oct 2015

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in conference

7th Francophone Conference in Medicine and Spirituality

Miguel Farias (Keynote Speaker)
18 Oct 201419 Oct 2014

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation 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