Neuroscience and The Gospel

April 23, 2009

A recent study published in the April issue of Psychological Science features experiments on moral self-regulation. The results are interesting. Here’s a summary of one of the experiments:

In the first experiment, participants were asked to write a self-relevant story using words that referred to either their positive or negative traits.  After finishing, they were told that the research lab was interested in supporting social awareness and usually asks participants if they would like to make a small donation to the charity of their choice. Participants were told they could write down the charity and the amount they wanted to donate (note, they were not aware of any link between the story they wrote and the charity donation).  The result: participants who used positive words about themselves in their stories donated one fifth as much money as those who used negative words.  A follow-up experiment verified these results.

How does the Gospel inform your reading of these results? Does it help explain these results or should it, in theory, place Christians in a different category?

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