Study: Reflecting on scripture has a physiologically identifiable stress dampening effect for Christians


In a recently-published study in the journal Psychology of Religion and Spirituality, researchers found evidence that reflecting on biblical scripture impacted subsequent cardiovascular stress reactivity among Christian college students. The findings provide new insights into how religious practices can influence psychophysiological processes. “I have a long-term interest in religion/spirituality and health and, in particular, trying … Read more

Study pinpoints neural basis for the interplay between a close relationship with God and enhanced sense of control


A recent study offers new evidence that having a close relationship with God serves the psychological purpose of enhancing one’s sense of control. The study was published in Cognitive, Affective, and Behavioral Neuroscience. Spiritual belief is a fundamental aspect of human culture, dating back to ancient times. Psychology researchers have explored this tendency toward supernatural … Read more

New psychology research highlights the value of consistency in closeness to God


Consistency in closeness to or distance from God is associated with heightened psychological well-being, according to new research published in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships. The findings provide evidence that the level of closeness one feels to a deity is associated with important psychological outcomes. “Some of my earlier research focused on religion … Read more

New study highlights the role of cultural variations in the link between religion and prejudice


Regional cultural differences appear to play an important role in moderating the link between religiosity and sexist/anti-gay attitudes, according to new research published in Social Psychological and Personality Science. The study provides evidence that cultures that foster an exclusionary, threatening climate tend to weaken the relationship between religion and prejudice by constraining individual differences. “I’ve … Read more