Yet another weird SF fan


I'm a mathematician, a libertarian, and a science-fiction fan. Common sense? What's that?

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Yet another weird SF fan
 

Friday, April 27, 2012

Critical Thinking?

According to the latest research (seen via Boing Boing), atheists are more likely to get questions that appear to be from the Cognitive Reflection Test.

I'd like to know how they tested religious belief. In apparently-similar research on political attitudes, the tests rely strongly on straw men. That may be true here as well. Did they only test for fundamentalism? Maybe the creationists made the difference or maybe it was due to the new-age loons…

The actual article is behind a pay wall.

But wait, there's more: According to the report in the Huffington Post:

In one intervention, when people are shown a visual image that suggests critical thinking (for example, Rodin's sculpture "The Thinker," seated head-in-hand, pondering) just before taking a test of analytic reasoning, their performance on the test increases measurably. Subconscious suggestion about thinking apparently gets the cognitive juices flowing and suppresses intuitive processes. The researchers confirmed this effect but also found that the self-reported religious disbelief also increased compared with subjects shown a different image before being tested that did not suggest critical thinking.
Saaay, what‽ This shifts the paper from the “possibly bulshytt” category to the “definitely bulshytt” category. Any test of religion that can be shifted by something so trivial is not a test of religious faith; it might be a test of religious non-faith. We are not dealing with Friendlies here.

Addendum: There's additional

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