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Fri Apr 27, 2012, 11:04 AM

Religion and Reason: Analytic thinking decreases religious belief.

Your answer to the following riddle can predict whether you are a believer in religion or a disbeliever:

Q: If a baseball and bat cost $110, and the bat costs $100 more than the ball, how much does the ball cost?

A: If you answered $10 you are inclined to believe in religion. If you answered $5 you are inclined to disbelieve.

Why? Because, according to new research reported in tomorrow's issue of the journal Science, the $10 answer indicates that you are an intuitive thinker, and the $5 answer indicates that you solve problems analytically, rather than following your gut instinct.

Psychologists William Gervais and Ara Norenzayan, of the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, predicted that people who were more analytic in thinking would tend not to believe in religion, whereas people who approach problems more intuitively would tend to be believers. Their study confirmed the hypothesis and the findings illuminate the mysterious cognitive process by which we reach decisions about our beliefs.

Cognitive theory of decision making supports the hypothesis that there are two independent processes involved in decision making. The first process is based on gut instinct, and this process is shared by other animals. The second cognitive process is an evolutionarily recent development, exclusive to humans, which utilizes logical reasoning to make decisions. Their study of 179 Canadian undergraduate students showed that people who tend to solve problems more analytically also tended to be religious disbelievers. This was demonstrated by giving the students a series of questions like the one above and then scoring them on the basis of whether they used intuition or analytic logic to reach the answers. Afterward, the researchers surveyed the students on whether or not they held religious beliefs. The results showed that the intuitive thinkers were much more likely to believe in religion.

To test whether there is a causative basis for this correlation, the researchers then used various subtle manipulations to promote analytic reasoning in test subjects. Prior research in psychology has shown that priming stimuli that subconsciously suggest analytical thinking will tend to increase analytic reasoning measured on a subsequent test. For example, if subjects are shown a picture of Rodin's sculpture "The Thinker" (seated head-in-hand pondering) they score higher in measures of analytic thinking in tests given immediately afterward. Their studies confirmed this effect but also showed that those subjects who showed increased analytic thinking also were significantly more likely to be disbelievers in religion when surveyed immediately after the test.

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-new-brain/201204/religion-and-reason



According to this, I'm a believer! Who knew?

11 replies, 1473 views

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Arrow 11 replies Author Time Post
Reply Religion and Reason: Analytic thinking decreases religious belief. (Original post)
cleanhippie Apr 2012 OP
stopbush Apr 2012 #1
laconicsax Apr 2012 #2
cleanhippie Apr 2012 #4
laconicsax Apr 2012 #5
dkf Apr 2012 #3
saras Apr 2012 #6
no_hypocrisy Apr 2012 #7
rug Apr 2012 #8
Silent3 Apr 2012 #9
rrneck Apr 2012 #10
Odin2005 Apr 2012 #11

Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 11:18 AM

1. Now that I think about it, that makes sense...

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Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 11:24 AM

2. I always had my suspicions about you...

 

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Response to laconicsax (Reply #2)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 11:29 AM

4. Fucking algebra!

Hated it in school, and hate it now!

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Response to cleanhippie (Reply #4)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 11:38 AM

5. That's a shame.

 

Without a good grasp of algebra it would be exceedingly difficult to fully appreciate the mathematics that describe reality.

BTW: There's a more intuitive way to at least know that $10 is the wrong answer--$10 is outrageously expensive for a baseball.

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Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 11:29 AM

3. That applies to any type of dogma.

 

Even political affiliation.

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Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 11:55 AM

6. According to this, I have two heads, one screwed on at right angles.

 

I saw two balls and a castrated bat, and $5, $5,and $100 were 'intuitively' obvious, though I'd say it was memorization rather than intuition, like the times tables.

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Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 12:47 PM

7. Hence the motivation to kill public education . . . . .

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Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 12:54 PM

8. And then there's this.

Duane - St. Pete FLA

I’m a GOP’er and an atheist which does not set well with some other GOP’ers. I normally do not agree with most that comes out of CNN and it’s left leaning coverage of issues and their continued picking and choosing stories that strive to make black America the victims (when in fact they are lucky to live here), but this I do agree with. God, Allah and the like and cute little stories that no one in their right mind would believe. Burning talking bush’s, walking on water, flying monkey’s (wait that’s the wizard of OZ) all to me are silly stories but if people want to believe than more power to them….just keep the talk out of politics.

April 27, 2012 at 11:45 am

http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2012/04/27/as-politicians-talk-more-about-faith-voters-seem-to-want-less/comment-page-6/

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Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 01:03 PM

9. What's funny is that I'd seen this question before, I got the correct answer that previous time...

...but in reading over this post, even with my recognition of the question, my mind went to $10, and I had to see answer of $5 to remember.

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Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Sat Apr 28, 2012, 01:02 PM

10. According to this I'm a fundie from hell. nt

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Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 02:05 AM

11. It got me right, I answered $5, and I'm an Atheist.

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