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Christian Perspectives in Science seminar

In 2012, Science published a study entitled, “Analytic thinking leads to religious disbelief”. This article was picked up in major media outlets with news stories such as, “Why analytical thinking can destroy your belief in God (even if you are devout)” (Daily Mail, 2012). Several of us researchers in the field of the Cognitive Science of Religion (using theories from the cognitive sciences to understand religious thought and behavior) endeavoured to experimentally re-examine the research published in the Science article. Our results pointed in a different direction; we found that priming analytical thinking resulted in increased intrinsic religiosity. Our results suggest the relationship between analytic reasoning and intrinsic religiosity is more complex and nuanced than previously published, and establishes the importance of individual demographic characteristics for religiosity. Although our research was recently published in a top psychology journal, there were some unique publication challenges associated with this type of research that I will also discuss.

September 2016
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