Revisiting the Relationship between Individual Differences in Analytic Thinking and Religious Belief: Evidence That Measurement Order Moderates Their Inverse Correlation

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Abstract

Prior research has found that persons who favor more analytic modes of thought are less religious. We propose that individual differences in analytic thought are associated with reduced religious beliefs particularly when analytic thought is measured (hence, primed) first. The current study provides a direct replication of prior evidence that individual differences in analytic thinking are negatively related to religious beliefs when analytic thought is measured before religious beliefs. When religious belief is measured before analytic thinking, however, the negative relationship is reduced to non-significance, suggesting that the link between analytic thought and religious belief is more tenuous than previously reported. The current study suggests that whereas inducing analytic processing may reduce religious belief, more analytic thinkers are not necessarily less religious. The potential for measurement order to inflate the inverse correlation between analytic thinking and religious beliefs deserves additional consideration. Read Article

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