The Relation Between Intelligence and Religiosity: A Meta-Analysis and Some Proposed Explanations…
“A meta-analysis of 63 studies showed a significant negative association between intelligence and religiosity.
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.
Following Gottfredson (1997), we define intelligence as the “ability to reason, plan, solve problems, think abstractly, comprehend complex ideas, learn quickly and learn from experience”
Religiosity can be defined as the degree of involvement in some or all facets of religion. According to Atran and Norenzayan (2004), such facets include beliefs in supernatu-ral agents, costly commitment to these agents (e.g., offering of property), using beliefs in those agents to lower existential anxieties such as anxiety over death, and communal rituals that validate and affirm religious beliefs.”