Are Religious Affections Positive or Negative?—The Role of Religious Affections on Executive Control


The present study investigated the influence of religious affections on executive control compared with positive and negative emotions using emotional priming paradigm and the letter flanker task. 58 participants (Tibetan Buddhists, 28 males and 30 females) were required to identify the central target letter after primed by religious, positive, or negative pictures. There was a space (loose) or no space (close) between neighboring letters. The results revealed that in close condition both religious affections-prime and negative emotional-prime reduced the flanker effect in response accuracy (ACC) compared to positive emotional-prime for female participants. It means that religious affections do not function as positive emotions on executive control. Moreover, for females, when primed by religious pictures, the ACC flanker effect was negatively related to the arousal of religious pictures, but when primed by negative pictures, the flanker effect in response time was positively related to the valence of negative pictures. The correlation analysis indicates that religious affections and negative emotions may influence executive control in different ways. These findings suggest that religious affections exert their special influence on executive control, not simply positive or negative.

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Liu, H. & Zhang, Q. (2013). Are Religious Affections Positive or Negative?—The Role of Religious Affections on Executive Control. Psychology, 4, 970-974. doi: 10.4236/psych.2013.412140.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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