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University of Nevada, Las Vegas; Center for Academic Enrichment and Outreach

Publisher Location

Las Vegas, NV


Last summer I conducted a pilot study which researched whether better working memory would be documented among an experimental group (individuals who report being spiritual) as compared to the control group (individuals who report being non-spiritual).Total scores showed a significantly higher sense of spiritualism among the spiritual participants vs. the non spiritual participants (p < .001) along with a significant improvement in working memory for spiritual participants vs. non spiritual participants (p = .027). The results of this study documented significantly better performance on a task measuring emotional learning and memory among individuals who reported being spiritual as opposed to individuals who reported being non-spiritual. These findings build on prior studies suggesting the effect of positive emotions on broadening cognitive processes (Strauss & Allen, 2003).

My current study is building on what my prior findings have suggested and studies the effect of spiritualism on the cognitive functions of learning and memory. In addition to the Daily Spiritual Experiences Scale (DSES) used in the pilot study, I am including the Spirituality Index of Well-Being, the Wisconsin Quality of Life Questionnaire, and the Test of Memory and Learning-2 (TOMAL-2). At this time, the study is still ongoing.


Cognition; Learning; Psychology of; Short-term memory; Spirituality


Cognition and Perception | Metaphysics | Psychology | Religion | Religious Thought, Theology and Philosophy of Religion

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556 Kb




Mentor: Janice McMurray

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