The latest science study has found that while the word “religious” does have a positive connotation, it’s actually just a good approximation.
The study, conducted by Dr. James L. Koehler, a professor of linguistics at the University of Minnesota and a member of the Cognitive Science Department, examined the word’s popularity in the United States.
The researchers, who surveyed nearly 2,000 people who were familiar with “religious,” found that the word has no positive connotations, and that there are “many positive and positive implications for religious belief and practice.”
The word is often used as a noun to describe a specific religion, such as Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, or Islam.
Kowhler and his team conducted the study by asking a series of questions to the subjects.
For each question, they asked how often they heard it, the religious theme of the word, and the meaning of the words it referred to.
The research team also asked the respondents to rate how religious they were.
The results, published in the journal PLOS ONE, revealed that while there were many positive and helpful meanings attached to the word religious, there were also some negative connotations attached to it.
For example, a majority of respondents (57 percent) said that religious words can be harmful to those with a mental health disorder, and about a quarter of them said that the words “religion” or “religiosity” were derogatory.
The word “relaxed” was also viewed negatively by about half of the people surveyed.
Other positive and negative connotation associated with the word included “harmful” and “inappropriate.”
A significant number of people (32 percent) found the word disrespectful, while another 29 percent said it was offensive.
These numbers are significant because the words religion and relaxation can be used interchangeably.
“This study shows that many people find the word religion derogatory and offensive,” Kowelman said in a statement.
“They often do not realize the negative connotations attached to religion and have difficulty understanding the word in context.”
The findings suggest that when we’re exposed to a word, it can trigger a mental image that reinforces our beliefs.
In a statement, the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) said the research shows the importance of understanding the meaning behind words and how they’re used.
“Religion is a fundamental part of our lives, and it is our responsibility to be aware of how the words we use to describe religion impact how we think and feel,” AAUP president Deborah J. Goldberg said in the statement.
In the future, Kowellers research team is looking to see how words related to the term religion have more positive connotions and whether or not the word is actually more accurate when it comes to the mental health conditions it’s associated with.
Religion is an essential part of human experience and a critical part of the culture, Goldberg said.
“It is essential that we understand how the word ‘religion’ is used, and how it can impact our mental health and well-being,” she said.
The authors also want to find out if the word was a favorite word in a popular religion, and whether it has any negative connotes in the US.
The next step is to continue the research by asking people in a different religion, with the same wording, and with different religious themes.
The new findings may help in the future as people come to understand the meaning and use of the terms religion and spirituality, Koehl said.
For more information, read the full report on PLOS One.