Title

A reflection on belief.

Campus

Gainesville

Publication date

2013

Publisher

Journal for Critical Education Policy Studies

Keywords

education, religious belief, psychology, indoctrination, conservatism

Abstract

This paper explores the phenomenon in which, for many people, subjective personal belief is viewed as a more accurate representation of reality than objective scientific knowledge developed over the course of human history and transmitted through secular education. The first half of the article is based on personal observations of the author through the lens of a professor and psychologist. The latter half of the article reviews recent empirical psychological research on religious belief and the characteristics that accompany irrational thought processes. The findings suggest that there are a host of factors that research has shown to be linked to religious thought, including the inability of education to create disequilibrium to combat misconceptions, early indoctrination, social pressures, genetic influences, cognitive style, and a lack of analytic processing. Human progress on a variety of fronts will advance unfettered only if education can address issues such as these.

Author Biography

Josh Cuevas is a professor and educational psychologist at the University of North Georgia.

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A reflection on belief.

This paper explores the phenomenon in which, for many people, subjective personal belief is viewed as a more accurate representation of reality than objective scientific knowledge developed over the course of human history and transmitted through secular education. The first half of the article is based on personal observations of the author through the lens of a professor and psychologist. The latter half of the article reviews recent empirical psychological research on religious belief and the characteristics that accompany irrational thought processes. The findings suggest that there are a host of factors that research has shown to be linked to religious thought, including the inability of education to create disequilibrium to combat misconceptions, early indoctrination, social pressures, genetic influences, cognitive style, and a lack of analytic processing. Human progress on a variety of fronts will advance unfettered only if education can address issues such as these.