Texas Gov. Greg Abbott discussed the effects of the coronavirus, and his hope to reopen the Lone Star state up for business during an online church service from Dallas on Sunday. In an interview with Pastor Jack Graham of Prestonwood Baptist Church, Abbott reflected on past obstacles he faced in life, and how those moments […]
TORONTO (RNS) Canadian researchers have found that strong religious convictions can lower stress and enhance the performance of basic tasks.
A team in Toronto put 28 students through tests measuring both levels of religious observance and stress caused by making mistakes on a test.
The newly published study by professors at the University of Toronto and York University points to religious believers out-performing non-believers on cognitive tasks.
“The more religious they were, the less brain activity they showed in response to their own errors,” said University of Toronto assistant psychology professor Michael Inzlicht, lead author of the study. “They are calmer when they make errors.”
Using electrodes, researchers monitored brain activity and found subjects with high levels of religious observance experienced less activity in the part of the brain that governs anxiety and helps modify behavior. The more religious zeal individuals showed, the better they did on the test.
“The more they believe, the less brain activity we see in response to their own errors,” Inzlicht said. “(Religious people) were much less anxious and stressed when they made an error.”
The study also found that even moderate religious belief resulted in lower levels of anxiety than among non-believers.
By Ron Csillag
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