New Study Links Beliefs to Personality

Amanda Casanova | Contributor | Monday, January 6, 2014

New Study Links Beliefs to Personality

Believers in creationism are more likely to take in information through intuition, according to a new study.

Likewise, believers who see the creation story as symbolic are more likely to be more intuitive, the study says.

The study suggests that beliefs may be linked to personality.

The survey comes from Andrew Village, the head of theology and religious studies program at York St. John University in the United Kingdom.

Village interviewed 663 churchgoers on their beliefs in Genesis, the book of the Bible that tells the story of the creation of the Earth.

"When people think, 'Oh, creationists are unthinking people,' they're not," Village said. "They're just using a different system.

"It's not our level of thinking and whether we're smart or not. It's just the way we make decisions, rather than our intelligence,” he added.

Intuitive people are less likely to take things at face value, Village reported in his findings in the journal “Psychology of Religion and Spirituality.” On the other hand, people who prefer logical decision-making are more likely to believe in creationism.

The results of the survey could be useful to preachers looking to connect to their congregation, Village said.

"In some ways a lot of the differences are about differences in personality and psychological preferences rather than the content" of beliefs, he said. "People who have a strong sense of, 'We must decide rationally and logically,' will go about their religion in a particular way, and people who decide more on their values will go about their religion in a particular way."

Publication Date: January 6, 2014.

New Study Links Beliefs to Personality