Analytic thinking can decrease religious belief: UBC study
A new University of British Columbia study finds that analytic thinking can decrease religious belief, even in devout believers. The study, which will appear in tomorrow’s issue of Science, finds that thinking analytically increases disbelief among believers and skeptics alike, shedding important new light on the psychology of religious belief. “Our goal was to explore the fundamental question of why people believe in a God to different degrees,” says lead author Will Gervais, a PhD student in UBC’s Dept. of Psychology. “A combination of complex factors influence matters of personal spirituality, and these new findings suggest that the cognitive system related to analytic thoughts is one factor that can influence disbelief.”
Researchers used problem-solving tasks and subtle experimental priming – including showing participants Rodin’s sculpture The Thinker or asking participants to complete questionnaires in hard-to-read fonts – to successfully produce “analytic” thinking. The researchers, who assessed participants’ belief levels using a variety of self-reported measures, found that religious belief decreased when participants engaged in analytic tasks, compared to participants who engaged in tasks that did not involve analytic thinking.
http://www.publicaffairs.ubc.ca/2012/04 ... ubc-study/
Do believers here agree with the above findings, if not, why not?