Religion replenishes self-control

There are many theories about why religion exists, most of them unproven. Now, in an article published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, psychologist Kevin Rounding of Queen's University, Ontario, offers a new idea, and some preliminary evidence to back it up.

The primary purpose of is to enhance the basic cognitive process of self-control, says Rounding, which in turn promotes any number of valuable social behaviors.

He ran four experiments in which he primed volunteers to think about religious matters. Those volunteers showed more discipline than controls, and more ability to delay gratification.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Are religious people better adjusted psychologically?

Jan 19, 2012

Psychological research has found that religious people feel great about themselves, with a tendency toward higher social self-esteem and better psychological adjustment than non-believers. But a new study published in Psychological Sc ...

Recommended for you

What sign language teaches us about the brain

Jul 25, 2014

The world's leading humanoid robot, ASIMO, has recently learnt sign language. The news of this breakthrough came just as I completed Level 1 of British Sign Language (I dare say it took me longer to master signing ...

Why do men prefer nice women?

Jul 25, 2014

People's emotional reactions and desires in initial romantic encounters determine the fate of a potential relationship. Responsiveness may be one of those initial "sparks" necessary to fuel sexual desire and land a second ...

Study reveals how to be socially successful

Jul 25, 2014

Romantic, personal and professional relationships are fraught with danger, but a University of Queensland researcher has found the secret to interacting successfully with others in such settings.

User comments