Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Importance of Religion

Why Religion’s Burdens Are Light: From Religiosity to Implicit Self-Regulation

Sander Koole, Michael McCullough, Julius Kuhl & Peter Roelofsma
Personality and Social Psychology Review, February 2010, Pages 95-107

Abstract: To maintain religious standards, individuals must frequently endure aversive or forsake pleasurable experiences. Yet religious individuals on average display higher levels of emotional well-being compared to nonreligious individuals. The present article seeks to resolve this paradox by suggesting that many forms of religion may facilitate a self-regulatory mode that is flexible, efficient, and largely unconscious. In this implicit mode of self-regulation, religious individuals may be able to strive for high standards and simultaneously maintain high emotional well-being. A review of the empirical literature confirmed that religious stimuli and practices foster implicit self-regulation, particularly among individuals who fully internalized their religion’s standards. The present work suggests that some seemingly irrational aspects of religion may have important psychological benefits by promoting implicit self-regulation.

(Nod to Kevin L)

In our increasingly secular society, I think public commitment to environmentalism have taken the place of traditional religion, and likely have some of the same psychological benefits. The idea that "recycling is cheaper, no matter how much it costs," is clearly a religious claim, not a practical one....And you can see the religious fervor in the reactions, when someone points this out! (Check the comments, smell the incense)


Tom said...

Environmentalism is a religion whose god is named Gaia. There is a virulent sect called Warmism, led by the archangel Algore.

The Warmists are on a jihad, warring against The Free Market.

Revealed Tricks Charlie said...

I would agree, but I think it goes further than that. It seems that religion is getting a bad reputation and people are finding it harder and harder to justify the extremes on both sides.

Turning to something that is not bound by anything other than the fact that we are human and if the planet dies, we all do, is easier for people to want to follow.

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