Religion is a socially constructed construct, a new study finds.
The findings from a project in Germany and Sweden could help explain why people often seek out religious experiences.
The researchers examined whether religion is socially constructed, a construct used to explain how religious experiences are experienced.
They asked more than 3,000 people in seven countries to write down their religious experiences in terms of how much they considered themselves a religious person.
They then compared these accounts to those of more than 2,600 non-religious participants.
They found that people who describe themselves as religious have a higher level of religious belief and are more likely to describe themselves in terms that are more in line with their actual religious experience.
Researchers also found that religious people were less likely to experience negative emotions or experience feelings of depression.
“These findings may be important for understanding the complex relationship between religion and depression, and why some religious people experience negative feelings, while others do not,” lead author Christiana Fischkreuz told the Associated Press.
People tend to use religious language in everyday speech, so this study provides further evidence that this is a common construct for people who are religious.
It is not clear yet whether religious people are more or less likely than non-religiously educated people to describe their religious beliefs as being based on social constructs, or whether religion in general is a construct people use in everyday life.
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