According to new research from psychologists at Florida State University, praying works. Not at getting God to do stuff (that's hard to test) but...
According to new research from psychologists at Florida State University, praying works. Not at getting God to do stuff (that's hard to test) but at making the people who pray more forgiving.
In Study 1 ... participants assigned to pray for their romantic partner reported greater willingness to forgive that partner than those who described their partner to an imagined parent. In Study 2 ..., participants were assigned to pray for a friend, pray about any topic, or think positive thoughts about a friend every day for 4 weeks. Those who prayed for their friend reported greater forgiveness for their friend than did those in the other two conditions, even when we controlled for baseline forgiveness scores.Two morals to this story. First, if you're an atheist who dismisses praying as non-scientific mumbo-jumbo, just know that it in some cases it serves a good psychological purpose. (In some cases: Praying for good aim on the battlefield probably wouldn't make you more forgiving.) Moral two: If you transgress a lot, associate yourself with people who are willing to pray for you. Things will just be easier.