Thinking About God Makes Religious People Calm, Study Shows

April 24, 2011 at 5:40 pm | Posted in Discoveries, Discussion, Life Lessons, Reflections | Leave a comment
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By Stephanie Lam
Epoch Times Staff

Related articles: Science > Beyond Science

A breath taking view of a sunrise. A recent study found that when people are reminded of religion and God, religious people feel less distressed about making mistakes. (Photos.com)

A recent study published in the journal Psychological Science found that when being reminded of religion and God, religious people feel less distressed about making mistakes.

During two experiments, half the participants had to perform a task that reminded them of religion and God, while the other half performed a similar task that didn’t remind them of religious subjects.

Then, the researchers measured participants’ distress response by monitoring their brain waves using electroencephalography (EEG) when they performed the Stroop Task.

The Stroop Task is a test in which participants have to name the color that words are presented in. The word, however, may mean another color, and thus it is easy to make an error.

The researchers found that religious participants had less distress response if they had previously performed the task related to religion.

“Thinking about religion makes you calm under fire. It makes you less distressed when you’ve made an error,” said researcher Dr. Michael Inzlicht of the University of Toronto Scarborough.

“We think this can help us understand some of the really interesting findings about people who are religious. Although not unequivocal, there is some evidence that religious people live longer and they tend to be happier and healthier.”

Created: Sep 26, 2010 Last Updated: Sep 27, 2010

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