How does religion benefit health and well-being? Are positive emotions active ingredients?

  • Fredrickson B
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Comments on articles by K. I. Pargament (see record 2003-04271-002), J. J. Exline (see record 2003-04271-003), L. K. George et al (see record 2003-04271-004) concerning religious involvement, well-being, religion and health. B. L. Fredrickson suggests that an important empirical question to pursue is whether positive emotions are among the active ingredients that account for the benefits that religious practices have for physical and mental health. Fredrickson states that her broaden-and-build theory of positive emotions (1998, 2001) explains a host of impressive long-range benefits of positive emotions and provides the rationale for the prediction that positive emotions are active ingredients in the observed religion-health link. Fredrickson also states that it seems reasonable to speculate whether benefits to health and well-being accrue among religious believers because they, more than nonbelievers, experience meaningful positive emotions. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2005 APA, all rights reserved)

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  • Barbara L. Fredrickson

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