How Critical Thinkers Lose Their Faith in God; July 2012; Scientific American Magazine; by Daisy Grewal; 1 Page(s)
Why are some people more religious than others? Answers to this question often focus on the role of culture or upbringing. Although these influences are important, new research suggests that whether we believe or not may also have to do with how much we rely on intuition versus analytic thinking. In 2011 researchers from Harvard University published a paper showing that people who have a tendency to rely on their intuition are more likely to believe in God. They also showed that encouraging people to think intuitively increased people's belief in God.
Building on these results in an article published in Science recently, Will Gervais and Ara Norenzayan of the University of British Columbia found that encouraging people to think analytically reduced their tendency to believe in God. Taken together, these findings suggest belief may stem at least in part from our thinking styles.