Disbelief, the religion of the analytical thinker

Monday, 30 April, 2012

I’ve been called analytical once or twice – I think it was a compliment, possibly something to do with the fact I juggle three jobs – so possibly this applies to me… people who think analytically tend to be less religious than others.

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.

What about then the analytical thinkers’ acceptance of notions such as say astrology and ghosts? Are the levels of disbelief similar?

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