Publication Date


First Advisor

Sarah King

Second Advisor

Azfar Hussain


This article seeks to assess the psychological role in which religion plays within human emotion, behavior, and mental processes. The aims of this research are to provide a psychological oriented basis for interpreting the function of religion within human operation and interaction. First, by incorporating contributions that have been made within the subfield of evolutionary psychology in assessing the evolutionary and adaptive basis in which religious cognition and experience emerged. Further, by addressing the theoretical contributions made within Terror Management Theory in accounting for a psychological function that religion serves. Third, by incorporating the ideas of William James in providing a means of interpreting the experience of individuals. Finally, an assessment is provided of the psychological outcomes that are found to be associated with religion. While interpreting the effects that religion and spirituality have in terms of its consequential functional outcomes.