Does training analytical thinking decrease superstitious beliefs? Relationship between analytical thinking, intrinsic religiosity, and superstitious beliefs

Tosyali F., Aktas B.

Personality and Individual Differences, vol.183, 2021 (SSCI) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 183
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.paid.2021.111122
  • Journal Name: Personality and Individual Differences
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, ASSIA, PASCAL, Child Development & Adolescent Studies, EBSCO Education Source, Index Islamicus, Psycinfo, Violence & Abuse Abstracts
  • Keywords: Analytic thinking style, Belief in superstition, Cognitive reflection test, Cognitive style, Intrinsic religiosity, Muslim sample, Turkey
  • Istanbul Medipol University Affiliated: No


The associations between cognitive thinking style, religiosity, and superstitious beliefs were presented in the previous research. Still, the role of intrinsic religiosity on the link between analytical thinking and belief in superstitions was not examined specifically. In the first study, we explored the intrinsic type of religiosity's moderating role in the association between individuals' analytical thinking tendency and belief in superstitions after controlling for gender, age, education, and political ideology. Findings showed that participants having lower analytical thinking tendencies were more likely to engage beliefs in superstitions. There was no significant relationship between intrinsic religiosity and belief in superstitions. The negative relationship between analytical thinking and belief in superstitions was more evident for participants with a low and moderate intrinsic religiosity degree. In the second study, we primed the participants' analytical thinking tendency and looked into superstitious beliefs. As expected, enhancing analytical thinking led to decreased reporting of superstitious beliefs, but contrary to our hypothesis, the moderating role of intrinsic religiosity was not evident. The present findings were consistent with the idea that analytical thinking tendency would lead people to be less superstitious. Still, the role of intrinsic religiosity needs to be clarified in future research.