Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Round Up of Some Research on Religion from Science Daily

Study Explores Distrust of Atheists by Believers
Distrust is the central motivating factor behind why religious people dislike atheists, according to a new study led by University of British Columbia psychologists.
New University of Otago research suggests that when non-religious people think about their own death they become more consciously skeptical about religion, but unconsciously grow more receptive to religious belief.

American megachurches use stagecraft, sensory pageantry, charismatic leadership and an upbeat, unchallenging vision of Christianity to provide their congregants with a powerful emotional religious experience, according to research from the University of Washington.
Despite differences in rituals and beliefs among the world's major religions, spirituality often enhances health regardless of a person's faith, according to University of Missouri researchers. The MU researchers believe that health care providers could take advantage of this correlation between health -- particularly mental health -- and spirituality by tailoring treatments and rehabilitation programs to accommodate an individual's spiritual inclinations.

"Love thy neighbor" is preached from many a pulpit. But new research from the University of California, Berkeley, suggests that the highly religious are less motivated by compassion when helping a stranger than are atheists, agnostics and less religious people.

Parental hopes of a "miraculous intervention," prompted by deeply held religious beliefs, are leading to very sick children being subjected to futile care and needless suffering, suggests a small study in the Journal of Medical Ethics.

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 Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, finds that this is only true in countries that put a high value on religion.


vjack said...

Thanks for posting this. I've read a few of these already, but it is nice to have them in one place for easy reference.

Eric Sotnak said...

I was interested in the article about the sick kids and futile treatment but it turns out that this one is really disappointing. It turns out that the study only involved a review of six cases that had occurred over a three year period. To be fair, the article was published in the "Current Controversies" section of the journal. It really boils down to anecdotes from some British doctors about parents they think were motivated to seek continued treatment for primarily religious reasons. No comparisons were made regarding non-religious parents. It isn't at all unreasonable to see parents (irrespective of religious orientation) as highly motivated to keep trying to keep their children alive even though attending medical professionals judge such efforts as futile.