Will Gervais – This is Your Brain on Religion

June 4, 2012

In late April, a study came out in Science that really got the secular blogosphere hopping.

It was a paper showing that something we’ve long suspected may be true—less critical thinking is associated with more religiosity. In fact, having a cognitive style where you’re less analytic, and more intuitive, promotes faith.

And vice versa.

It turns out this paper is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of what we’re learning about the religious mind. So to get deeper into the topic, we invited on Will Gervais, lead author of the current paper and of much other work besides.

Will Gervais is a Ph.D. candidate in social psychology at the University of British Columbia in Canada. Next year he will be an associate professor in psychology at the University of Kentucky.

His research studies the cognitive, evolutionary, and cultural reasons why people entertain in supernatural beliefs—or, why they don’t, which is perhaps equally interesting.

Links Mentioned in this Episode

Will M. Gervais