B4204 - Intelligence and Religion - 22/11/2022

B number: 
Principal applicant name: 
Dan Major-Smith | Population Health Sciences, University of Bristol
Dr Isaac Halstead, Prof Jean Golding, Dr Jonathan Jong
Title of project: 
Intelligence and Religion
Proposal summary: 

Religion is an important suite of beliefs and behaviours, yet the factors which cause religious beliefs and behaviours are still largely unknown. One such factor believed to shape religion is intelligence, with previous meta-analyses suggesting a negative association between measures of intelligence and religious belief (Zuckerman et al., 2020). However, the majority of this previous research has been cross-sectional and focused predominantly on American undergraduates, meaning results may be biased by confounding and/or not generalisable to the wider population. We therefore need longitudinal data from population-based studies with repeated religiosity and intelligence data to assess whether these associations may be causal in a more representative population. Enter ALSPAC.

Zuckerman, M., Li, C., Lin, S. & Hall, J.A. (2020). The Negative Intelligence–Religiosity Relation: New and Confirming Evidence. Personal. Soc. Psychol. Bull., 46, 856–868.

Impact of research: 
Date proposal received: 
Monday, 21 November, 2022
Date proposal approved: 
Tuesday, 22 November, 2022
Social Science, Statistical methods, Cognition - cognitive function