Study Links Religious Belief To Poor Understanding Of Physical World

Study Links Religious Belief To Poor Understanding Of Physical World October 10, 2016

Ignorance and defective thinking styles lead to religious superstition.

A poor understanding of the physical world is linked to religious and paranormal beliefs in a new study.

A recent study published June 2016 in Applied Cognitive Psychology connects belief in the supernatural (religious and paranormal beliefs) with poor reasoning skills, low information about basic physics and biology, and a propensity to assign intention and mentality to non-mental phenomena (magical thinking).  

PsyPost reports the study shows that religious and paranormal (supernatural) beliefs are correlated with “poor intuitive physics skills, poor mechanical ability, poor mental rotation, low school grades in mathematics and physics, poor common knowledge about physical and biological phenomena, intuitive and analytical thinking styles, and in particular, with assigning mentality to non-mental phenomena.”

The following excerpt is from the summary of the article Does Poor Understanding of Physical World Predict Religious and Paranormal Beliefs?:

The results showed that supernatural beliefs correlated with all variables that were included, namely, with low systemizing, poor intuitive physics skills, poor mechanical ability, poor mental rotation, low school grades in mathematics and physics, poor common knowledge about physical and biological phenomena, intuitive and analytical thinking styles, and in particular, with assigning mentality to non-mental phenomena.

PsyPost reports that researchers conclude that “Nonscientific ways of thinking are resistant to formal instruction…” adding that this can “affect individuals’ ability to act as informed citizens to make reasoned judgments in a world that is increasingly governed by technology and scientific knowledge.”

In other words, low information coupled with defective thinking styles and limited cognitive abilities can not only lead to religious and supernatural beliefs but can also hinder the ability of individuals to “make reasoned judgments.”

Bottom line: The study results are not particularly surprising, and merely confirm what many others have long suspected: Religious and supernatural beliefs are often associated with poor reasoning skills and low information about the natural world.

(Image via Pixabay)
(Image via Pixabay)
"I would recommend the God of social justice, mercy, truth forgiveness and love...the one ostracized ..."

Ocasio-Cortez: Abortion Bans Are About Religious ..."
"Sue, who wrote the Bible? Patriarchal men who knew nothing about sexual orientation, just as ..."

Christian TV Host Rick Wiles: We ..."
"If you watch Wiles closely, notice how he is always holding down his right hand, ..."

Christian TV Host Rick Wiles: We ..."
"Anyone who has "religious certitude" has made a conscious decisionCompletely disagree. I'm speaking about true ..."

Tennessee Pastor Who Repeatedly Raped Daughter, ..."

Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!


TRENDING AT PATHEOS Nonreligious
What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment