Date of Award

12-7-2015

Document Type

Thesis

Department

Behavioral Sciences

First Advisor

Karl Bailey

Abstract

Mind wandering—reduced attention to external events—during prayer could pose a problem for Christians. However, different types of prayer make different cognitive demands. Kataphatic prayer, a common type of evangelical Christian prayer, makes use of mental imagery in hopes of experiencing God in a richer sense. Because both mind wandering and kataphatic prayer require imagery, tying up imagery resources in kataphatic prayer should block mind wandering thereby improving focus. Participants in this study prayed as they normally do, viewed a visual task, or engaged in kataphatic prayer while self-monitoring for mind wandering.

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