For Good Self-Control, Try Getting Religious About It

Posted by Kendall Harmon

If I’m serious about keeping my New Year’s resolutions in 2009, should I add another one? Should the to-do list include, “Start going to church”?

This is an awkward question for a heathen to contemplate, but I felt obliged to raise it with Michael McCullough after reading his report in the upcoming issue of the Psychological Bulletin. He and a fellow psychologist at the University of Miami, Brian Willoughby, have reviewed eight decades of research and concluded that religious belief and piety promote self-control.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchPsychologyReligion & Culture

6 Comments
Posted December 31, 2008 at 4:53 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]



1. Ex-Anglican Sue wrote:

In the next issue: Water found to be wet.

January 1, 10:21 am | [comment link]
2. dwstroudmd+ wrote:

Gotta love the persistent failure of secular attempts to replicate the self-control and the identification of those who attend for purely social reasons!  Indirect evidence for the Holy Spirit?  Nah!  It couldn’t be because the dominant materialist paradigm can’t acknowledge the Spirit.  So why opt for the “spiritual” through bogus technological paradigms?

I just love a good paradoxical materialist explanation first thing in the AM.

January 1, 11:04 am | [comment link]
3. Larry Morse wrote:

Whatever, the cause, the “discovery” is an important one, because, increasingly, the cultural issues will focus on whether our society will have and maintain standards or not. This question will centor on the development of self-discipline (and you know how hard I have argued for this as essential to a sane culture). The remaifications reach faar beyond religion; if our culture had been paying attention to the demands of self-restraint, hordes of people would not have gone out and bound vast castles they could not pay for, nor would lending institutions have advanced the money therefore. And the issue of ssm will be involved in the same debate, the liberals arguing that self-restraint is to be fettered to the past, and the conservatives arguing that that self-discipline is timeless and refuses to sanction excess in any period. I wish I knew who was going to win this argument. Larry

January 1, 1:01 pm | [comment link]
4. Laura R. wrote:

Researchers around the world have repeatedly found that devoutly religious people tend to do better in school, live longer, have more satisfying marriages and be generally happier.

For best results, follow instructions of Maker.

January 1, 1:53 pm | [comment link]
5. Jeffersonian wrote:

I’m as materialist as the next guy, but I also know there’s no filling that hole in our souls with anything but Jesus Christ.

January 1, 4:11 pm | [comment link]
6. CandB wrote:

Time to bring this out again: ” All that we call human history—money, poverty, ambition, war, prostitution, classes, empires, slavery—[is] the long terrible story of man trying to find something other than God which will make him happy.”—-C.S. Lewis

January 1, 4:17 pm | [comment link]
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