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Prayer as an antidepressant mediating the relation between religion/spirituality and individual well-being

Sommerkamp-Homann, Alexander (2019) Prayer as an antidepressant mediating the relation between religion/spirituality and individual well-being. Master's Thesis / Essay, Behavioural and Cognitive Neurosciences.

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Abstract

Religion and spirituality are associated with better health, higher quality of life and longer life expectancy. Although questions regarding the underlying causality remain, it is possible that the activity of praying plays a mediating role in putative faith-related benefits. Neuroimaging studies link prayer to increased activity of brain areas which are part of the reward system and, specifically, to areas in which reduced activity has been associated with anhedonia, a key feature of depression. By reducing anhedonia, prayer may therefore exert an antidepressant effect. Psychological studies suggest that praying may indeed reduce depressive symptoms. However, the support for this hypothesis is very limited. Most of the few studies which have been conducted on the relation between prayer and depression exhibit methodological limitations and implicational ambiguity. Still, this essay encourages the engagement in prayer, as research tends suggest a beneficial effect.

Item Type: Thesis (Master's Thesis / Essay)
Supervisor:
Supervisor nameSupervisor E mail
Visser-Nieraeth, A.A.Visser-Nieraeth@rug.nl
Degree programme: Behavioural and Cognitive Neurosciences
Thesis type: Master's Thesis / Essay
Language: English
Date Deposited: 03 Sep 2019
Last Modified: 13 Sep 2019 09:08
URI: http://fse.studenttheses.ub.rug.nl/id/eprint/20918

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