Miguel Farias

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Although religious belief is often claimed to help with physical ailments including pain, it is unclear what psychological and neural mechanisms underlie the influence of religious belief on pain. By analogy to other top-down processes of pain modulation we hypothesized that religious belief helps believers reinterpret the emotional significance of pain,(More)
A growing body of research has focused on so-called 'utilitarian' judgments in moral dilemmas in which participants have to choose whether to sacrifice one person in order to save the lives of a greater number. However, the relation between such 'utilitarian' judgments and genuine utilitarian impartial concern for the greater good remains unclear. Across(More)
Neuroimaging studies on moral decision-making have thus far largely focused on differences between moral judgments with opposing utilitarian (well-being maximizing) and deontological (duty-based) content. However, these studies have investigated moral dilemmas involving extreme situations, and did not control for two distinct dimensions of moral judgment:(More)
BACKGROUND Yoga and meditation have been shown to be effective in alleviating symptoms of depression and anxiety in healthy volunteers and psychiatric populations. Recent work has also indicated that yoga can improve cognitive-behavioural performance and control. Although there have been no controlled studies of the effects of yoga in a prison population,(More)
Recent research on moral decision-making has suggested that many common moral judgments are based on immediate intuitions. However, some individuals arrive at highly counterintuitive utilitarian conclusions about when it is permissible to harm other individuals. Such utilitarian judgments have been attributed to effortful reasoning that has overcome our(More)
The work in this paper introduces finite mixture models that can be used to simultaneously cluster the rows and columns of two-mode ordinal categorical response data, such as those resulting from Likert scale responses. We use the popular proportional odds parameterisation and propose models which provide insights into major patterns in the data.(More)
Three academic/practitioners from different disciplines (performance, medicine and psychology) describe the ways in which observing, and importantly, participating in the healing rituals of the French pilgrimage site of Lourdes challenged their ways of thinking about both their discipline's research approaches and their understandings of community, caring(More)
The aim of this article is to examine whether the diagnostic criteria of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5), are able to differentiate between nonpathological religious possession and dissociative identity disorder (DID). We use the case study of an individual who leads an Afro-Brazilian religious group(More)
Previous research has linked certain types of modern spirituality, including New Age and Pagan, with either benign schizotypy or insecure attachment. While the first view emphasizes a positive aspect of spiritual believers' mental health (benign schizotypy), the second view emphasizes a negative aspect, namely the unhealthy emotional compensation associated(More)
Growing evidence indicates that religious belief helps individuals to cope with stress and anxiety. But is this effect specific to supernatural beliefs, or is it a more general function of belief - including belief in science? We developed a measure of belief in science and conducted two experiments in which we manipulated stress and existential anxiety. In(More)