Friday, September 23, 2011

Study finds relationship between faith in god and cognitive style

There is a correlation between an individual's belief in God and in their cognitive style, suggests a study by Harvard researchers published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: General on Monday.

The researchers found that those with an intuitive cognitive style tend to have a strong belief in God than those with a more reflective cognitive style. As defined in the study, intuitive thinkers quickly make judgments based on automatic and instinct. Reflective thinkers prefer to pause and critically examine the initial trials before making a decision.

The study was conducted by three researchers from the Department of Psychology, Harvard University doctoral student Amitai Shenhav, Human Biology Professor David G. Rand, and Social Sciences Associate Professor D. Joshua Greene.

"Our study shows that although there's certainly a role for [cultural influence], that's not the only thing going on," Rand said.

The study found that not only intuitive thinkers tend to believe more firmly in the existence of God, but faith also becomes more certain over time. Moreover, reflective thinkers increasingly confident of God's existence through time.

To confirm their findings, the researchers controlled for age, sex, and IQ and still found a positive correlation between cognitive style and belief in God.

To read more this study about relationship between faith in god and cognitive style, please click here.