Religiosity and the formulation of causal attributions

Thinking and Reasoning 22 (2):119-149 (2016)
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Abstract

ABSTRACTResearchers have suggested that religious individuals engage primarily in intuitive over analytic processing. We investigated a connection between specific aspects of religiosity and the attribution of causation to social and physical events. College undergraduates completed measures of religiosity online and were asked to determine the causes of events that varied in type, outcome, and likelihood, as well as the personality characteristics of the protagonist. Individuals with greater intrinsic religious orientation, fundamentalism, who viewed God as loving, who were more dogmatic, and had an external locus of control were more likely to attribute supernatural phenomena to events compared to those lower in those traits. Supernatural causation was invoked more often when the character of the protagonist and the outcome of social event matched in valence than when they did not match. Individuals low and high in religiosity..

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