Analytic Thinking Can Decrease Religious Belief

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posted on Apr, 27 2012 @ 07:59 AM
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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.

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The findings, Gervais says, are based on a longstanding human psychology model of two distinct, but related cognitive systems to process information: an “intuitive” system that relies on mental shortcuts to yield fast and efficient responses, and a more “analytic” system that yields more deliberate, reasoned responses.

“Our study builds on previous research that links religious beliefs to ‘intuitive’ thinking,” says study co-author and Associate Prof. Ara Norenzayan, UBC Dept. of Psychology. “Our findings suggest that activating the ‘analytic’ cognitive system in the brain can undermine the ‘intuitive’ support for religious belief, at least temporarily.”


source


Abstract:


Scientific interest in the cognitive underpinnings of religious belief has grown in recent years. However, to date, little experimental research has focused on the cognitive processes that may promote religious disbelief. The present studies apply a dual-process model of cognitive processing to this problem, testing the hypothesis that analytic processing promotes religious disbelief. Individual differences in the tendency to analytically override initially flawed intuitions in reasoning were associated with increased religious disbelief. Four additional experiments provided evidence of causation, as subtle manipulations known to trigger analytic processing also encouraged religious disbelief. Combined, these studies indicate that analytic processing is one factor (presumably among several) that promotes religious disbelief. Although these findings do not speak directly to conversations about the inherent rationality, value, or truth of religious beliefs, they illuminate one cognitive factor that may influence such discussions.


science. Article is out tomorrow, but I'm not sure if it's open access or not..


Isn't this great? I hope in the future ATS can implement a feature that requires analytical thinking before posting into a thread is possible, e.g. some multiple choice quiz. This way, maybe the threads would get somewhere..
edit on 27-4-2012 by rhinoceros because: (no reason given)




posted on Apr, 27 2012 @ 08:39 AM
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Is that what happened to me?


This is really a "double-edged sword". Critical and analytical thinking are imperative in a persons life. But intuition has its own importance. There have been times my intuition saved my bacon, and there have been times I wish I would have thought something through first. It's a balancing act to be sure.

But religion plays more on emotion than intuition. At least the big three do. And few people will examine their religious belief system critically, because they have been trained not to question it. That, and be afraid, very afraid.

So is it any wonder that examining it critically dispels those irrational fears and beliefs, and sheds light in the dark corners of it.

Nevertheless, as I mentioned above. It's a balancing act to be sure. I believe both analysis and intuition are necessary in using your faculties to their fullest. How much of each in a given situation is something we learn as we get older.



posted on Apr, 27 2012 @ 08:47 AM
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I am suprised they needed to conduct research to come to this conclusion, it seems self evident to me.



posted on Apr, 27 2012 @ 08:47 AM
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reply to post by rhinoceros
 


I'm a bit confused. Europe is considered to be predominantly atheist which according to this study should mean that Europe should be the smartest and should create billions of innovative creations. Yet the US is largely considered more innovative than europe. Considering that the US created most of what the "civilized world" uses.

But the US is considered to be religious.

So why isn't europe pumping out all of its inventions?



posted on Apr, 27 2012 @ 08:54 AM
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Originally posted by Klassified
So is it any wonder that examining it critically dispels those irrational fears and beliefs, and sheds light in the dark corners of it.

I think the point of this research was that any analytic thinking (not necessarily related to religious beliefs) activated regions of the brains that then fought also "intuitive short-cuts related to religious beliefs" (I call this brainwashing damage)..



posted on Apr, 27 2012 @ 08:57 AM
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Originally posted by someguy0083
I'm a bit confused. Europe is considered to be predominantly atheist which according to this study should mean that Europe should be the smartest and should create billions of innovative creations.

Which part of the article said something like that?



Yet the US is largely considered more innovative than europe. Considering that the US created most of what the "civilized world" uses.

CITATION NEEDED. I think, out of any country, the UK has contributed the most to the civilized world. Nowadays, USA is the top player (soon it will be China) due to "brain import", large population, etc.



posted on Apr, 27 2012 @ 08:59 AM
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reply to post by rhinoceros
 


is that why you supported obama attacking libya and making the 3rd highest living African country into the 31st?



posted on Apr, 27 2012 @ 09:01 AM
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reply to post by rhinoceros
 


Whoa brother, no need to attack me. I'm just pondering why europe isn't leading the world in innovations. To innovate requires analytic skills. If religion blocks it, then I would assume europe (especially sweden) to lead the world in innovation.



posted on Apr, 27 2012 @ 09:06 AM
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Originally posted by someguy0083
reply to post by rhinoceros
 


is that why you supported obama attacking libya and making the 3rd highest living African country into the 31st?

I did what now?



posted on Apr, 27 2012 @ 09:08 AM
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Originally posted by someguy0083
reply to post by rhinoceros
 


Whoa brother, no need to attack me. I'm just pondering why europe isn't leading the world in innovations. To innovate requires analytic skills. If religion blocks it, then I would assume europe (especially sweden) to lead the world in innovation.


I'm not attacking you. I'm just questioning what you implied that the article said. Where does it say that religion blocks analytic skills? Perhaps attempt to read the article with more care?



posted on Apr, 27 2012 @ 09:08 AM
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reply to post by rhinoceros
 


what you didn't support obama overthrowing gaddafi and implementing a secular democratic libya? You must be a fake atheist



posted on Apr, 27 2012 @ 09:10 AM
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Originally posted by someguy0083
reply to post by rhinoceros
 


what you didn't support obama overthrowing gaddafi and implementing a secular democratic libya? You must be a fake atheist

If you must know, I'm very critical of USA's aggressive foreign policies. What the hell gives USA the right to attack small countries that never did anything to it? From USA's recent wars, only the one in Afghanistan was somewhat justified, although even it created more problems than it solved, IMO. Anyway, this has nothing to do with the topic of this thread.
edit on 27-4-2012 by rhinoceros because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 27 2012 @ 09:17 AM
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reply to post by rhinoceros
 


so you are for the leaders of these countries brainwashing (your words) their own people with religion? Wow. I can't believe you would support brainwashing people. How unethical of you



posted on Apr, 27 2012 @ 09:19 AM
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Originally posted by someguy0083
reply to post by rhinoceros
 


so you are for the leaders of these countries brainwashing (your words) their own people with religion? Wow. I can't believe you would support brainwashing people. How unethical of you

No. However, I'm for the sovereignty of nations. Anyway, stop posting offtopic into my thread.
edit on 27-4-2012 by rhinoceros because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 27 2012 @ 09:21 AM
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reply to post by rhinoceros
 


So wait, you go on and on about religion brainwashing people and making them stupid but you would allow a dictator to brainwash its people? You would also allow a dictator to kill its own people because the rebels started using their analytical skills?

wow how unethical of you. You probably supported sudan genocide because it was their sovereignty



posted on Apr, 27 2012 @ 09:47 AM
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Originally posted by rhinoceros

Originally posted by Klassified
So is it any wonder that examining it critically dispels those irrational fears and beliefs, and sheds light in the dark corners of it.

I think the point of this research was that any analytic thinking (not necessarily related to religious beliefs) activated regions of the brains that then fought also "intuitive short-cuts related to religious beliefs" (I call this brainwashing damage)..


I did get that out of it as well. But it seems the effect would be neglible until a person actually began to pinpoint that analysis on their belief system.

I say this because I spent a good portion of my life as a christian. I have always been a very analytical person, but it wasn't until I focused that critical and analytical thought process on my belief system, and ask myself why I believed what I believed, that I began to see it for what it was.

Thanks for posting this. I find it interesting.



posted on Apr, 27 2012 @ 09:54 AM
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Originally posted by someguy0083
So wait, you go on and on about religion brainwashing people and making them stupid

Why do you falsely accuse me of having said things I have not said?


Originally posted by someguy0083
but you would allow a dictator to brainwash its people? You would also allow a dictator to kill its own people because the rebels started using their analytical skills?

wow how unethical of you. You probably supported sudan genocide because it was their sovereignty

You probably would have supported the holocaust and you probably support infanticide too.



posted on Apr, 27 2012 @ 09:57 AM
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In other news, 2+2=4 and the sky is blue.

Heh, I was very devout but ended up converting myself away while trying to learn more about my religion. Funny how that works.



posted on Apr, 27 2012 @ 10:06 AM
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Originally posted by rhinoceros


A new University of British Columbia study finds that analytic thinking can decrease religious belief, even in devout believers.





It's a joke by BC right? Or an attempt to prove that ALL humans are morons and idiots?

The very basis of analysis is based upon established facts/experiences to come to a logical or at least informed perception.

Let's looks at current science. What are the 'facts? Why is the sky blue? By answering it, it will lead to further questions about 'known' science, and then it will come a point whereby one will ask about the Universe, and then what? How much do we truly know about the Universe?

Thus, when BC made those claims, it goes the same for science as well - analytic thinking can decrease SCIENTIFIC belief, even in devout believers.

At least in religion, one does feel warmth/solace and significant religious experiences shared by billions over the centuries and course of our human civilisation. And human depend much on senses to comprehend reality.

One can't say the same for science, for far too many unexplanable 'facts' abound supported only by man created 'theories' - a politically correct term for 'crystal ball gazing'.

I feel sorry for the kids at BC Uni. What the heck are they being taught?!



posted on Apr, 27 2012 @ 10:12 AM
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Originally posted by SeekerofTruth101
Thus, when BC made those claims, it goes the same for science as well - analytic thinking can decrease SCIENTIFIC belief, even in devout believers.

If anything, analytic thinking should increase "belief" in science, since that is the method how the information was obtained in the first place
edit on 27-4-2012 by rhinoceros because: (no reason given)





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