In the discussion thread: Being 'Born-Again' Linked to More Brain Atrophy: Study [View all]
Response to JonLP24 (Original post)
Mon Apr 30, 2012, 05:02 PM
handmade34 (10,792 posts)
new study on analytical thinking and faith
"...One example comes from a study by neuroscientist and philosopher Joshua Greene and colleagues at Harvard University, published last September in the Journal of Experimental Psychology. They asked hundreds of volunteers recruited online to answer three questions with appealingly intuitive answers that turn out to be wrong. For example, "A bat and ball cost $1.10 in total. The bat costs $1.00 more than the ball. How much does the ball cost?" Although $0.10 comes easily to mind (it's the intuitive answer), it takes some analytical thought to come up with the correct answer of $0.05. People who chose more intuitive answers on these questions were more likely to report stronger religious beliefs, even when the researchers controlled for IQ, education, political leanings, and other factors.
In the same study, another group of volunteers wrote a paragraph about a time in their lives when either following their intuition or careful reasoning led to a good outcome. Those who wrote about intuition reported stronger religious beliefs on a questionnaire taken immediately afterward. If intuitive thinking encourages religious belief, as Greene's study suggested, analytical thinking might encourage disbelief—or so Gervais and his adviser, social psychologist Ara Norenzayan, hypothesized..."
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