It is official. If you are religious, you are also likely to be stupider than those who have no faith.
On a day when the Mayor of London has made the dodgy science of intelligence testing newsworthy in what even the Deputy Prime Minister called ‘unpleasant, careless elitism’ I thought it was time to come out of the closet and tell you what you knew all along; I am a thickie.
I would say ‘I am Sparticus’ but I am not sure how to spell it, and anyway you probably would not get the reference (if you are religious too.)
And here is the evidence.
A meta-analysis of 63 studies showed a significant negative association between intelligence and religiosity. The association was stronger for college students and the general population than for participants younger than college age; it was also stronger for religious beliefs than religious behavior.
What might this be caused by?
Are we thick BECAUSE we are religious, or do we believe because we are too stupid not to? Does God disengage our brains somehow, or are smart people too smart for God?
The study does make some guesses at what this might be about;
Three possible interpretations were discussed. First, intelligent people are less likely to conform and, thus, are more likely to resist religious dogma. Second, intelligent people tend to adopt an analytic (as opposed to intuitive) thinking style, which has been shown to undermine religious beliefs. Third, several functions of religiosity, including compensatory control, self-regulation, self-enhancement, and secure attachment, are also conferred by intelligence. Intelligent people may therefore have less need for religious beliefs and practices.
So, they think that smart people out think the need for God, and can find the resources offered to them by religion through other means.
Interesting that the effect is most noticeable in the avowed belief rather than actual religious practice…
I have not read the whole study, as I am too thick to need access to academic downloads in the press of my unintelligent life, but the first thing I think we should point out is that the usefulness or otherwise of intelligence tests is a battleground within psychological study, albeit one that I will not even try to bother your pretty little heads with.