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Thinking –v- Believing 

By  Lysette Offley

Thinking –v- Believing. Photo of man thinkingThe more we think, the less we believe! Well, in God anyway…

Apparently, we humans use two separate cognitive systems for processing information. There’s intuitive thinking, which is fast and er… intuitive! (In other words, a spontaneous and innate skill.) And there’s also a slower and more analytical process. Either can override the other.

A study done by Ara Norenzaya at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada and Will Gervais rated the belief of 93 university students with regard to their belief in God and other supernatural ideas.

Many weeks later, the students took part in an exercise to prime them for analytical thinking. This exercise included reading words such as ‘rational’ as making sense of copy written in hard to read fonts.

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The control group were given tasks that didn’t involve having to use their analytical minds to such a degree.

Again the students were asked to rate their supernatural beliefs.

What do you think the results showed?

Those who had been primed to be analytical rated their belief in God lower than they previously had!

Applying Occam’s Razor to the results, in other words searching for the most obvious explanation, intuitive thinking leads to belief and analytical thinking suppresses that process.

Maybe that’s why scientists tend not to believe in God. They spend all their time thinking!

Lysette Offley


With 40 years of experience, Lysette Offley is a Memory and Mindset Coach to women and men at the top of their game in the Financial Services Industry who recognise the value of continual personal and professional development and support to achieve a healthy work-life balance, along with satisfaction and fulfilment.

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