March 28th Psychology Lecture on Religious (Dis)Belief

The Psychology Department Kenneth L. Smoke Colloquium Series and EPACC present:

"The Psychological Causes and Consequences of Religious (Dis)Belief"

Dr. Will Gervais
Assistant Professor
Department of Psychology
University of Kentucky

Friday, March 28, 2014
4:00 PM
Bowen Auditorium, McCreary Hall 115

Abstract: The vast majority of people who have ever lived endorse the existence of gods. Yet today, there are nearly a billion nonbelievers worldwide. What are the cognitive, evolutionary, and cultural forces that influence degrees of religious belief and disbelief, and what are the psychological consequences of believing or disbelieving in gods? First, I will present an integrated conceptual framework highlighting four factors that influence degrees of religious belief and disbelief. Differences in advanced mind perception abilities, exposure to recurrent existential and adaptive threats, reliance on evolved mental adaptations for acquiring cultural information, and cognitive style (e.g., intuitive and analytic processing) interact to influence degrees of religious belief. Second, I will present recent experimental work focusing on the consequences of both religious belief and disbelief in the domain of morality.

All are welcome to attend.