Study: People who think analytically are less likely to be religious

Scientists have revealed one of the reasons why some folks are less religious than others: They think more analytically, rather than going with their gut. And thinking analytically can cause religious belief to wane — for skeptics and true believers alike.

The study, published in Friday’s edition of the journal Science, indicates that belief may be a more malleable feature of the human psyche than those of strong faith may think…

So does this mean that religious faith can be undermined with just a little extra mental effort? Not really, said Nicholas Epley, a social psychologist at the University of Chicago who was not involved in the study. But it does show that belief isn’t set in stone, but can respond to a person’s context.

“There’s an illusion that our brains are more static than they actually are,” he said. “We have fundamental beliefs and values that we hold, and those things seem sticky, constant. But it’s easier to get movement on something fundamental.”