Sunday, January 27, 2013

Analytic Thinking Decreases Religious Beliefs

At the University of British Columbia, a study found that an increase in analytical thinking produced a decrease in religious belief, even those who had the most devout beliefs. The study is based on the human psychology model of two related cognitive systems used to process information: the “intuitive” system and the “analytical” system. The intuitive system relies on mental shortcuts in order to produce fast and efficient responses, while the analytical system creates more reasoned and purposeful responses.

The goal of this experiment was to discover “why people believe in a God to different degrees.” Researchers gave participants questionnaires in hard-to-read fonts in order to stimulate the analytical systems. The result was that it worked. Previous research in the past had concluded that religious beliefs were linked to the intuitive system and by increasing the use of the analytical system, the intuitive system decreases, but only temporarily.

This to me makes a lot of sense. Religion is a strong belief, such a strong belief that it becomes a feeling of knowing even if one does not have scientific evidence. In history there has always been a battle between science and religion, which connects to the internal battle the human cognitive systems face; the intuitive against the analytical. The more someone uses reason to conclude a thought or idea it is only natural that they will begin to have doubts when it ties back to religion because they are unable to continuing using those reasoning skills. Our beliefs in our religions are something were feel almost instinctively, something we feel in our “hearts, reasoning however lies outside of these lines.

Link: Analytic thinking can decrease religious belief, study shows

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