The religious extremism has never been linked to the mental problems but a recent research by York University researchers, published in this month’s issue of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology stated that Anxiety and uncertainty can cause us to become more idealistic and radical in our religious beliefs.
A complete study was designed to accomplish these results and during the study 600 participants were placed in the anxiety provoking situation and then they were asked about their personal goals and religious beliefs. After the study it was found that anxious conditions cause the participants to become more willingly engaged towards the extreme thoughts of their religious conviction.
According to the leading person of this study Ian McGregor, Associate Professor in York’s Department of Psychology, Faculty of Health “Anxiety-provoking threats sometimes also cause people to become paranoid and more submissive to externally-controlling forces, so we wanted to rule out that interpretation for our results”.
It was further stated by him that “Taken together, the results of this research program suggest that bold but vulnerable people gravitate to idealistic and religious extremes for relief from anxiety”. The findings of this study were actually reported in two different articles “Anxious Uncertainty and Reactive Approach Motivation (RAM)” and “Reactive Approach Motivation (RAM) for Religion,” and the co-authors of the study were McGregor and York University graduate students Kyle Nash.