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Episode Info: In today's episode we explore a fascinating topic that will be relevant to both those interested in the clinical side of psychology, as well as those interested in the psychology of religion. I speak with Dr. Thomas Fergus about his research article titled "Uncertainty, god, and scrupulosity: Uncertainty salience and priming god concepts interact to cause greater fears of sin."  The abstract for the article is shared below. Thank you so much for listening, and as always, if you have any comments or questions feel free to share a comment here. You can also send me a message by going to methodologyforpsychology.org/contact. Abstract "Background and objectives Difficulties tolerating uncertainty are considered central to scrupulosity, a moral/religious presentation of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). We examined whether uncertainty salience (i.e., exposure to a state of uncertainty) caused fears of sin and fears of God, as well as whether priming God concepts affected the impact of uncertainty salience on those fears. Method An internet sample of community adults (N = 120) who endorsed holding a belief in God or a higher power were randomly assigned to an experimental manipulation of (1) salience (uncertainty or insecurity) and (2) prime (God concepts or neutral). Results As predicted, participants who received the uncertainty salience and God concept priming reported the greatest fears of sin. There were no mean-level differences in the other conditions. The effect was not attributable to religiosity and the manipulations did not cause negative affect. Limitations We used a nonclinical sample recruited from the internet. Conclusions These results support cognitive-behavioral models suggesting that religious uncertainty is important to scrupulosity. Implications of these results for future research are discussed."
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