A new study in the Psychological Science journal has found that believers in God are less likely to feel stressed or anxious when asked to perform mental tasks, allowing them to perform the tasks better than non-believers.
The study was carried out by scientists who measured the brain reaction of different people during a series of mental agility tests. The tests revealed that those who said they believed in God felt calmer when they made a mistake than non-believers.
The results also showed that those who had a strong religion were less likely to realise they had made a mistake and so were less likely to correct mistakes.
According to the researchers the best performers were those who said that God had given them “meaning”, rather than “fundamentalists”.
During the research, which was carried out at the University of Toronto, volunteers were subjected to a number of mental tests, like having to write the word “red” in blue font and then being asked what colour the word is.
The volunteers were also asked whether they believed God existed and whether they believed their religion was the most correct.
During the tests, the volunteers had their brain activity monitored with electrodes which detect the amount of activity in the area of the brain that deals with stress and anxiety.
The results showed that the more faith the volunteer professed, the less the activity in this part of the brain. It also showed that non-religious believers in God still performed better than atheists.
According to The Telegraph, atheists have claimed that the tests only show that strong belief helps improve performance, not that God exists.
Research shows believers more stress-free than atheists
Published 08 March 2009