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Study: Religion helps people gain self-control

In “Study Finds Religion Helps Us Gain Self-Control” (January 25, 2012), Medical News Today reports,

Thinking about religion gives people more self-control on later, unrelated tasks; according to results from a series of recent Queen’s University study.

“After unscrambling sentences containing religiously oriented words, participants in our studies exercised significantly more self-control,” says psychology graduate student and lead researcher on the study, Kevin Rounding.

That’s undoubtedly because the study subjects associated the words’ meaning with self-control.

It would be interesting to see what would happen to later tasks if the unscrambled words related to well-known themes around “dropping out,” “hanging loose,” and “not letting other people judge me.”

The researcher says,

“Until now, I believed religion was a matter of faith; people had little ‘practical’ use for religion,” Mr. Rounding explains. “This research actually suggests that religion can serve a very useful function in society. People can turn to religion not just for transcendence and fears regarding death and an after-life but also for practical purposes.”

Um yes. It’s remarkable that, in a world where religious belief tends to promote health and mental health, he hadn’t noticed that before.

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One Response to Study: Religion helps people gain self-control

  1. OT: Who says miracles don’t happen? Here is Michael Behe on a recent TedTalk!

    TEDxLehighU – Michael Behe – Intelligent Design – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FCP9UDFNHlo

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