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Creativity and positive schizotypy influence the conflict between science and religion

MacPherson, James and Kelly, Stephen (2011) Creativity and positive schizotypy influence the conflict between science and religion. Personality and Individual Differences, 50 (4). pp. 446-450. ISSN 0191-8869

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Abstract

Recent research suggests that evaluations of scientific and religious explanations compete for ‘explanatory space’. This study examines whether a combination of positive schizotypy (PS) and creativity can partly explain why a scientist committed to empirical measurement and evidence could hold a concomitant faith-based view of the world. The O-LIFE, the religious orientation Scale and the Creative Personality Scale were completed by (n = 222) PhD level Scientists and a Control group of (n = 193) non-scientists. Regression analyses found that PS and creativity accounted for a significant degree of variance in religiosity in the Scientist sample. This relationship was not demonstrated in the Control group, nor was it affected by the intrinsic/extrinsic religiosity dimension. These findings suggest that PS and creativity help afford religious beliefs when commitment to empiricism is high. Links to cognitive processing styles such as syncretic cognition and Transliminality are discussed.