Analytic atheism: A cross-culturally weak and fickle phenomenon?

Will M. GERVAIS, Michiel VAN ELK, Dimitris XYGALATAS, Ryan T. MCKAY, Mark AVEYARD, Emma Ellen Kathrina BUCHTEL, Ilan DAR-NIMROD, Eva KUNDTOVÁ KLOCOVÁ, Jonathan E. RAMSAY, Tapani RIEKKI, Annika M. SVEDHOLM-HÄKKINEN, Joseph BULBULIA

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Abstract

Religious belief is a topic of longstanding interest to psychological science, but the psychology of religious disbelief is a relative newcomer. One prominently discussed model is analytic atheism, wherein cognitive reflection, as measured with the Cognitive Reflection Test, overrides religious intuitions and instruction. Consistent with this model, performance-based measures of cognitive reflection predict religious disbelief in WEIRD (Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich, & Democratic) samples. However, the generality of analytic atheism remains unknown. Drawing on a large global sample (N = 3461) from 13 religiously, demographically, and culturally diverse societies, we find that analytic atheism as usually assessed is in fact quite fickle cross-culturally, appearing robustly only in aggregate analyses and in three individual countries. The results provide additional evidence for culture's effects on core beliefs. Copyright © 2018. The authors license this article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)268-274
JournalJudgment and Decision Making
Volume13
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - May 2018

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Psychology
Intuition
Religion
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Citation

Gervais, W. M., Van Elk, M., Xygalatas, D., McKay, R. T., Aveyard, M., Buchtel, E. E., . . . Bulbulia, J. (2018). Analytic atheism: A cross-culturally weak and fickle phenomenon? Judgment and Decision Making, 13(3), 268-274. Retrieved from http://journal.sjdm.org/vol13.3.html

Keywords

  • Atheism
  • Cultural learning
  • Dual process cognition
  • Religious cognition
  • Replicability
  • WEIRD people
  • Culture