Vivisecting the religious mind: Religiosity and motivated social cognition.
The relation between motivated social cognition and the religiosity dimensions which Wulff (1991, 1997) described (Exclusion vs. Inclusion of Transcendence and Literal vs. Symbolic) was investigated in a Flemish speaking Belgian student sample (N= 330). The Need for Closure Scale (NFC, Webster & Kruglanski, 1994) was used to measure motivated social cognition and the Post-Critical Belief Scale (Duriez, Fontaine & Hutsebaut, 2000) was used to measure Wulff's religiosity dimensions. Although NFC was expected to relate to the Literal vs. Symbolic dimension only, results also revealed a relation between NFC and the Exclusion vs. Inclusion of Transcendence dimension. However, whereas the former relation is due to the NFC facets Discomfort with Ambiguity and Closed-Mindedness, the latter relation can be attributed to the facets Order and Structure and Predictability. Results obtained in a second Flemish speaking Belgian student sample (N= 392) confirm these findings. Thus, apparently, whereas religious belief as such seem to be associated with a preference for order and structure as well as predictability, it is those who deal with religious content in a literal way who are uncapable of dealing with alternative opinions.
Duriez, B. (2003). Vivisecting the religious mind: Religiosity and motivated social cognition. Mental Health, Religion & Culture, 6, 79-86.