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Analytic thinking can undermine belief

Posted on Sunday, 29 April, 2012 | Comment icon 31 comments | News tip by: Still Waters

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A new study has examined the connection between intuitive thought, analytical thinking and religion.

Psychologists at the University of British Columbia carried out a study involving volunteers who were asked to solve three deceptively simple mathematical problems. While the answers seemed obvious, the correct responses required a greater degree of analytical thinking.

The results seemed to suggest that while intuitive thinkers were more likely to be religious, those who were better at analytical thought were less likely to be so. "Analytic processing inhibits these intuitions, which in turn discourages religious belief," said psychologist Ara Norenzayan.

"People who are intuitive thinkers are more likely to be religious, but getting them to think analytically even in subtle ways decreases the strength of their belief, according to a new study in Science."

  View: Full article |  Source: Scientific American

  Discuss: View comments (31)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #22 Posted by Sherapy on 2 May, 2012, 19:35
I would take this one step further and suggest that 'book smarts" (education) can and do cultivate viable "street smarts" (common sense.) I see them as working in tandem, for "a" best case scenario. Just my two cents.
Comment icon #23 Posted by Michelle on 2 May, 2012, 22:00
It can, but not usually. Someone that has no experience with social dichotomies, and have only read it in books, become fodder. I was raised in a bar and my parents took me around the world. That education doesn't even compare to the many books that I read.
Comment icon #24 Posted by Sherapy on 2 May, 2012, 23:18
That is a very good point. I do agree if exposed to diversity, it would help a lot in adding to the depth of ones education. Age appropriate of course and within reason.
Comment icon #25 Posted by ToyToyZA on 3 May, 2012, 13:15
Analytical reasoning may have destroyed our perception of the universe. If we adopt the “Holographic Universe” approach, there is no place for atheists. “God” is the master programmer of our virtual universe. Matter is an illusion...
Comment icon #26 Posted by Erudite Celt on 20 May, 2012, 21:54
Intuitive thinking is a great gift to those that really posses it. Most great discoveries made by garden shed boffin's and "fringe" engineers and scientists are driven by strong intuition.
Comment icon #27 Posted by Sensible Logic on 22 May, 2012, 19:37
Analytical thinking may undermine belief but it can keep you from buying the Brooklyn Bridge from the smooth talking salesman at your door.
Comment icon #28 Posted by Blue Star on 23 May, 2012, 19:10
'Analytic Thinking Can Undermine Belief'........ Surely this would depend on the belief?
Comment icon #29 Posted by Opinionist on 6 September, 2012, 3:25
Comment icon #30 Posted by Opinionist on 6 September, 2012, 3:50
'Analytic Thinking Can Undermine Belief' .. Analytical thinkers? Why? because some become atheist? because some become skeptic? because some become agnostic?... But every thought is a belief. Atheism is a belief- A belief of God's inexistence, Skepticsm-A belief that everything is questionable, Agnosticsm- A belief that nothing can be proven nor disproved,Theism-A belief of God's existence.. all the existing religions ... science, mathematics, philosophy..and all the existing thoughts. Analysis is just or somekind of reasoning and so, a thought, mind process, belief.. Aren'... [More]
Comment icon #31 Posted by Beany on 6 September, 2012, 14:00
Personally, I seem to be walking a line between analytic thinking and intuition, using a blend of the two to reshape my understanding & perceptions of what's spiritual or sacred. Or maybe I should say it's reshaping me, because ideas seem to be popping into my head out of no where. My analytic mind has been identifying my own personal dogma, and once that space is empty my intuitive self, working together with my analytic self can fill it with ideas that feed & nurture me. I've been thinking the the two are diametrically opposed, but after reading these posts, have come to ... [More]

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