ScienceDaily (Jan. 20, 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 Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, finds that this is only true in countries that put a high value on religion.
The researchers got their data from eDarling, a European dating site that is affiliated with eHarmony. Like eHarmony, eDarling uses a long questionnaire to match clients with potential dates. It includes a question about how important your personal religious beliefs are and questions that get at social self-esteem and how psychologically well-adjusted people are. Jochen Gebauer of the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Constantine Sedikides of the University of Southampton, and Wiebke Neberich of Affinitas GmbH in Berlin, the company behind eDarling, used 187,957 people's answers to do their analyses.
As in other studies, the researchers found that more religious people had higher social self-esteem and where psychologically better adjusted. But they suspected that the reason for this was that religious people are better in living up to their societal values in religious societies, which in turn should lead to higher social self-esteem and better psychological adjustment. The people in the study lived in 11 different European countries, ranging from Sweden, the least religious country on the planet, to devoutly Catholic Poland. They used people's answers to figure out how religious the different countries were and then compared the countries.
On average, believers only got the psychological benefits of being religious if they lived in a country that values religiosity. In countries where most people aren't religious, religious people didn't have higher self-esteem. "We think you only pat yourself on the back for being religious if you live in a social system that values religiosity," Gebauer says. So a very religious person might have high social self esteem in religious Poland, but not in non-religious Sweden.
In this study, the researchers made comparisons between different countries, but another study found a similar effect within one country, between students at religious and non-religious universities. "The same might be true when you compare different states in the U.S. or different cities," Gebauer says. "Probably you could mimic the same result in Germany, if you compare Bavaria where many people are religious and Berlin where very few people are religious."
The article is entitled, "Religiosity, Social Self-Esteem, and Psychological Adjustment: On the Cross- Cultural Specificity of the Psychological Benefits of Religiosity."
Mind/Body Medical Institute, Department of Medicine, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA. email@example.com
Intercessory prayer is widely believed to influence recovery from illness, but claims of benefits are not supported by well-controlled clinical trials. Prior studies have not addressed whether prayer itself or knowledge/certainty that prayer is being provided may influence outcome. We evaluated whether (1) receiving intercessory prayer or (2) being certain of receiving intercessory prayer was associated with uncomplicated recovery after coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery.
Patients at 6 US hospitals were randomly assigned to 1 of 3 groups: 604 received intercessory prayer after being informed that they may or may not receive prayer; 597 did not receive intercessory prayer also after being informed that they may or may not receive prayer; and 601 received intercessory prayer after being informed they would receive prayer. Intercessory prayer was provided for 14 days, starting the night before CABG. The primary outcome was presence of any complication within 30 days of CABG. Secondary outcomes were any major event and mortality.
In the 2 groups uncertain about receiving intercessory prayer, complications occurred in 52% (315/604) of patients who received intercessory prayer versus 51% (304/597) of those who did not (relative risk 1.02, 95% CI 0.92-1.15). Complications occurred in 59% (352/601) of patients certain of receiving intercessory prayer compared with the 52% (315/604) of those uncertain of receiving intercessory prayer (relative risk 1.14, 95% CI 1.02-1.28). Major events and 30-day mortality were similar across the 3 groups.
Intercessory prayer itself had no effect on complication-free recovery from CABG, but certainty of receiving intercessory prayer was associated with a higher incidence of complications.
certainty of receiving intercessory prayer was associated with a higher incidence of complications.
Prolly an effect similar to waking up from a procedure to find a priest giving you the last rites. Not good news =)
it reminds me of the placebo effect...
I wonder how that translates in religious ghettos - where your religion is the minority. You are esteemed in your small group but at large are considered much less favorably.
The key point is that religious people are better adjusted than non-religious people, ONLY in a very religious setting! Duh! People who feel left out by the rest of society, or who have a feeling of not belonging (like atheists in a very religious environment) are of course not going to feel as adjusted as the others.
Religion does not confer an advantage in terms of adjustment, in secular countries.
Why would anyone think crazy people are psychologically adjusted better than rational people?
COMMENT OF THE DAY!
(Michel, we need a sticker for this! LOL)
I think religious people may well feel more secure since they always have this invisible mother "father" who will always take care of everything for them,but whether they are better adjusted psychologically seems to me to be entirely different and has a lot to do with their surrouding environment I would think...