A study has revealed how Atheists are less open-minded than those who have faith, despite thinking the opposite.
The study, conducted at the Belgian Catholic University of Louvain (UCL) has shown how religious people have a more objective way of viewing the world that non-believers.
The general consensus often states that religious people hold a more closed-minded viewpoint than others, owing to their strict belief systems and disregard for anything that threatens their doctrine, but this new study has shown that the reality is quite different.
The researchers stated how religious people “seem to better perceive and integrate diverging perspectives”. Religion, or being part of a faith based community is set to improve well-being and even physical health, and this new study backs up this idea that having faith in a higher being can be beneficial to your mental health, too.
Study co-writer Filip Uzarevic said “closed-mindedness is not necessarily found only among the religious”, echoing the majority opinion.
In an interview with Psypost he said “In our study, the relationship between religion and closed-mindedness depended on the specific aspect of closed-mindedness.” “Somewhat surprisingly, when it came to subtly measured inclination to integrate views that were diverging and contrary to one’s own perspectives, it was the religious who showed more openness.”
Supporters of religion often state how it gives them a sense of belonging in the world, perhaps this helps them to have a kinder way of viewing the world and those who inhabit it.
The test covered several different aspects of open-mindedness, which was referred to as ‘mental rigidity’ in order to see how believers and non-believers react to certain situations. Atheists scored low on “self-reported dogmatism” but were more perceptive to “subtly-measured intolerance”.
The Catholic University study concluded that the level of tolerance a person is capable of is directly linked to their religious belief, or lack thereof.
Dr Uzarevic spoke of how the idea for the study came to fruition. He said
“The idea started through noticing that, in public discourse, despite both the conservative/religious groups and liberal/secular groups showing strong animosity towards the opposite ideological side, somehow it was mostly the former who were often labeled as ‘closed-minded’.
“Moreover, such view of the secular being more tolerant and open seemed to be dominant in the psychological literature.”
H/T The Independent
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