Religion helps us gain self-control

Religion helps us gain self-controlWashington, Jan 25 : Researchers say thinking about religion gives people more self-control on later, unrelated tasks.

This was the result of a series of recent Queen’s University study.

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

Study participants were given a sentence containing five words to unscramble. Some contained religious themes and others did not.

After unscrambling the sentences, participants were asked to complete a number of tasks that required self-control – enduring discomfort, delaying gratification, exerting patience, and refraining from impulsive responses.

Participants who had unscrambled the sentences containing religious themes had more self-control in completing their tasks.

“Our most interesting finding was that religious concepts were able to refuel self-control after it had been depleted by another unrelated task,” said Rounding.

“In other words, even when we would predict people to be unable to exert self-control, after completing the religiously themed task they defied logic and were able to muster self-control.

“Until now, I believed religion was a matter of faith; people had little ‘practical’ use for religion.

“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,” he added.
(ANI)

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