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Women Want the Heavens, Men Want the Earth Gender Differences in Support for Life Extension Technologies

Abstract.

Efforts are being made in the field of medicine to promote the possibility of indefinite life extension (ILE). Past research on attitudes toward ILE technologies showed that women and more religious individuals usually have more negative attitudes toward ILE. The purpose of this research was to investigate whether gender differences in attitude toward indefinite life extension technologies could be explained by religiosity, afterlife beliefs, and general attitudes toward science. In four studies (N = 5,000), undergraduate participants completed self-report questionnaires measuring their support for life extension as well as religiosity, afterlife beliefs, and attitude toward science (in Study 3). In all studies, men supported ILE more than women, whereas women reported greater belief in an afterlife. The relationship between gender and attitude toward ILE was only partially mediated by religiosity (Studies 2–4) and by attitudes toward science (Study 3).

https://econtent.hogrefe.com/doi/abs/10.1027/1614-0001/a000288#d6628e52

Journal of Individual Differences

Vol. -1: , Issue. -1, : Pages. 1-12

https://doi.org/10.1027/1614-0001/a000288

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Posted by on June 21, 2019 in religion

 

Prayer makes non-believers more likely to cheat, study finds

New research indicates religious individuals are more likely to cheat but that this tendency can be diminished by prayer. But the study in Religion, Brain & Behavior suggests that prayer can have the opposite effect on non-believers

Read more at PsyPost

 
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Posted by on June 13, 2019 in religion

 

Why Dutch Women are Still More Religious than Dutch Men: Explaining the Persistent Religious Gender Gap in the Netherlands Using a Multifactorial Approach

Abstract

In many secular Western countries, women continue to demonstrate higher levels of religiosity than men. But why does this religious gender gap persist? In this research note, we set out to explain the religious gender gap in the Netherlands for three dimensions of religiosity: belief in God, frequency of prayer and frequency of church attendance. Using high quality national representative survey data from LISS (Longitudinal Internet Studies for the Social sciences), an empirical model is built combining social and psychological determinants. We find that the experience of health restrictions, the personality trait conscientiousness and the gender orientation masculinity contribute to an explanation for the gender gap in the Netherlands regarding all three dimensions of religiosity. For belief in God and frequency of prayer, an additional psychological explanation comes from the gender orientation femininity.

Read more https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s13644-019-00364-3

 
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Posted by on June 10, 2019 in religion

 

Effect of being religious on wellbeing in a predominantly atheist country: Explorative study on wellbeing, fitness, physical and mental health

Abstract

Despite a large volume of research on the impact of religion on different aspects of life, there is still a lack of studies from post-communist countries. In the current study, we aimed to fill this gap by investigating the relationship between religion and wellbeing, physical and mental health, education, sexual behavior and biological fitness among the Czech population. We managed to collect responses from 31633 participants and divided the sample into seven categories based on the type of religious belief and denomination (nonbelievers, believers without denomination, Catholics, Evangelicals, Hussites, Buddhists, Jews). We focused on the wellbeing as our main factor, which we define as composed of a number of sub-variables: physical and mental health, economic situation, self-attractiveness and the quality of the romantic relationship. In contrast to previous studies, we found a negative correlation between religiosity and physical and mental health. On the other hand, religiosity was connected to higher fitness, higher self-rated honesty and altruism, and lower sexual activity, which is in accord with the data from the western countries. Our findings suggest that even though Czechs had experienced years of oppression during the Communist regime, religion and religious beliefs still have considerable impact on their quality of life.

Read more at PsyArXiv

 
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Posted by on June 7, 2019 in religion

 

Immutable morality: Even God could not change some moral facts

Abstract

The idea that morality depends on God is a widely held belief. This belief entails that the moral “facts” could be otherwise because, in principle, God could change them. Yet, some moral propositions seem so obviously true (e.g., the immorality of killing someone just for pleasure) that it is hard to imagine how they could be otherwise. In two experiments, we investigated people’s intuitions about the immutability of moral facts. Participants judged whether it was even possible, or possible for God, to change moral, logical, and physical facts. In both experiments, people judged that altering some moral facts was impossible—not even God could turn morally wrong acts into morally right acts. Strikingly, people thought that God could make physically impossible and logically impossible events occur. These results demonstrate the strength of people’s metaethical commitments and shed light on the nature of morality and its centrality to thinking and reasoning.

Immutable morality: Even God could not change some moral facts

Euthyphro would be relieved.

 
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Posted by on May 30, 2019 in religion

 

Extreme male brain theory of autism confirmed in large new study – and no, it doesn’t mean autistic people lack empathy or are more ‘male’

https://theconversation.com/extreme-male-brain-theory-of-autism-confirmed-in-large-new-study-and-no-it-doesnt-mean-autistic-people-lack-empathy-or-are-more-male-106800

Two long-standing psychological theories – the empathising-systemising theory of sex differences and the extreme male brain theory of autism – have been confirmed by our new study, the largest of its kind to date. The study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, used data on almost 700,000 people in the UK to test the theories.

The first theory, known as the empathising-systemising theory of typical sex differences, posits that, on average, females will score higher on tests of empathy than males, and that, on average, males will score higher on tests of systemising than females.

Empathy is the drive to recognise another person’s state of mind and to respond to another person’s state of mind with an appropriate emotion. Systemising is the drive to analyse or build a system where a system is defined as anything that follows rules or patterns.

The second theory, known as the extreme male brain theory of autism, extends the empathising-systemising theory. It posits that autistic people will, on average, show a shift towards “masculinised” scores on measures of empathy and systemising. In other words, they will score below average on empathy tests, but score at least average, or even above average, on systemising tests.

The data on the almost 700,000 people in our study (including over 36,000 autistic people) came from an online survey carried out for the Channel 4 documentary, Are you autistic?Our analysis of this data robustly confirmed the predictions of these two theories

[…]

Beware of misinterpretations

The first misinterpretation is that the results mean that autistic people lack empathy, but this isn’t the case. Empathy has two major parts: cognitive empathy (being able to recognise what someone else is thinking or feeling) and affective empathy (having an appropriate emotional response to what someone else is thinking or feeling).

The evidence suggests that it is only the first aspect of empathy – also known as “theory of mind” – that autistic people on average struggle with. As a result, autistic people are not uncaring or cruel but are simply confused by other people. They don’t tend to hurt others, rather they avoid others.

They may miss the cues in someone’s facial expression or vocal intonation about how that person is feeling. Or they may have trouble putting themselves in someone else’s shoes, to imagine their thoughts. But when they are told that someone else is suffering, it upsets them and they are moved to want to help that person.

So autistic people do not lack empathy.

The second misinterpretation is that autistic people are hyper-male. Again, this is not the case. While our latest study shows that autistic people, on average, have a shift towards a masculinised profile of scores on empathy and systemising tests, they are not extreme males in terms of other typical sex differences. For example, they are not extremely aggressive, but tend to be gentle individuals.

So autistic people are not hyper-male in general.

 
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Posted by on May 20, 2019 in cognitive science

 

Epistemic spillovers: Learning others’ political views reduces the ability to assess and use their expertise in nonpolitical domains

Abstract

On political questions, many people prefer to consult and learn from those whose political views are similar to their own, thus creating a risk of echo chambers or information cocoons. We test whether the tendency to prefer knowledge from the politically like-minded generalizes to domains that have nothing to do with politics, even when evidence indicates that politically like-minded people are less skilled in those domains than people with dissimilar political views. Participants had multiple opportunities to learn about others’ (1) political opinions and (2) ability to categorize geometric shapes. They then decided to whom to turn for advice when solving an incentivized shape categorization task. We find that participants falsely concluded that politically like-minded others were better at categorizing shapes and thus chose to hear from them. Participants were also more influenced by politically like-minded others, even when they had good reason not to be. These results replicate in two independent samples. The findings demonstrate that knowing about others’ political views interferes with the ability to learn about their competency in unrelated tasks, leading to suboptimal information-seeking decisions and errors in judgement. Our findings have implications for political polarization and social learning in the midst of political divisions.

 
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Posted by on May 19, 2019 in cognitive science

 
 
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