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Causes of religion – psychological
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March 10, 2016
Dogmatic atheism and fundamentalist Christianity: creating certainty in an uncertain world
Evidence is building up that, because religion helps people to deal with uncertainties of life,...
January 27, 2016
Religion linked to reduced levels of stress hormones in young American Blacks
Compared with Whites, Black Americans have high levels of an important stress hormone called cortisol...
January 07, 2016
A sense of mystery results from the brain failing to shut down flights of fancy
People who have a mystical experience might describe it as being "touched by some higher...
November 05, 2015
Reminding people of mortality makes them more religious? Not if you use magnets to mess with their brains!
By using a carefully calibrated magnetic field, you can change the patterns of brain activity....
October 22, 2015
The God-serving bias: thank God if you live, but don’t blame God if you die
Bad things happen to good people. On the face of this, this causes problems for...
October 13, 2015
A world by design – even atheists intuitively think the natural world has a designer
Research over the past few years has shown that many people intuitively think that things...
September 30, 2015
Your good deeds are pleasing God? That might impress kids but it doesn’t impress adults!
The most magnificent charitable gesture can fall flat if it turns out that you just...
September 23, 2015
Conspiracy theories flourish when people feel like things are slipping out of control
You young 'uns may not remember the dark days of 1999, when the imminent arrival...
August 13, 2015
What do people think God is actually like?
The ancient Greek philosopher Xenophanes once scathingly pointed out that people imagine god to be...
July 22, 2015
Does more education mean more, or less, religion? It depends whether you take intelligence into account.
It's pretty well established now that there is a statistical connection between intelligence and non-belief....
July 01, 2015
That was weird – are you a mind reader? Thinking style affects how we interpret weird experiences.
Psychologists have identified that all of us have two kinds of thinking styles. There’s the...
May 14, 2015
You can make people less religious by flicking their brain with magnetic pulses
Many years ago, a guy called Michael Persinger achieved a certain amount of fame with...
March 07, 2015
Thinking about God causes people to take bigger risks… wait, what???
A team from Stanford University Graduate School of Business has just published a nice series...
February 24, 2015
Is belief in moral progress a substitute for religion?
There's a well studied phenomenon called Terror Management Theory which basically says that, when people...
February 09, 2015
Most supernatural beliefs are about avoiding harm, not bringing benefit
A survey of supernatural beliefs across cultures around the world has found that beliefs involving...
January 15, 2015
Why are American Atheists Disagreeable and Unconscientious?
There's a popular model of personality that splits it into five components: openness to experience,...
December 18, 2014
Why are unfalsifiable beliefs so attractive?
Recently, Dr. John Wentworth, professor of physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, argued that...
November 26, 2014
When you think about spirits, do you see ghosts?
Humans are finely honed for spotting intentional agents in our environment. Meaning that if you...
November 19, 2014
Religious and paranormal believers are high in empathy – but confused about how the world works
There's a strand of thought that says that belief in the supernatural is founded upon...
October 20, 2014
Religion matters more than education when it comes to creationist beliefs
The USA is a conundrum when it comes to creationist beliefs. While the US comes...
September 02, 2014
Supernatural believers see minds at work behind random patterns
“Theory of Mind” is the term used to describe the mental ability to put yourself...
February 20, 2010
How come Intelligence, religion, and fertility are linked?
Here's a new study looking at the connection between religion, fertility, and IQ at a...
March 31, 2009
Atheism and IQ: explained by “The Savannah Principle”?
The correlation between atheism and IQ is being talked about again because the study I...
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Religion linked to reduced levels of stress hormones...
A sense of mystery results from the brain...
Reminding people of mortality makes them more religious?...
The God-serving bias: thank God if you live,...
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