Hi all

I am a psychology lecturer and i am considering offering a project based on religiousity or atheism for my postgrad students next year. Anybody have any ideas they would like to share on what sort of work they feel isnt being done in this area of psychological research?

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"It would be interesting to see if you can separate the out the social aspect of Church going versus the religious aspect of Church going."

Very much so.
I agree... It would be fascinating to know how important religion is to people related to Churchgoing from a social and cultural standpoint.
I like the idea of the social group dynamics, i will have a look around and see if i can find some literature on that. Thanks!
Hey I ve got few ideas:
Key things that make the human being think he is who he is.
The connection of atheism and the well being of people.
Non-religious view of nature
RE group social dynamics and the "group polarization" that occurs when individuals who share a common belief meet. They tend to come away from such meetings with a "deeeper" sense of the validity of their belief. I am assuming religion here - but it could be alien abduction or any belief. It would be interesting to see how the confirmation bias of others (peer groups can have a greater power than authority figures) enhances peoples concept of their individual "truths". Is there a correlation between the size of the group and the polarization of the belief ? Discuss in 30,000 words or less :)
Hahaha... 30,000 words would kill some honours students...
I know there has been some research done on Glossolalia – Speaking In Tongues.
I started a discussion on it recently.

Im wondering if a link can be defined between religion and learned helplessness along with other forms of emotional incompetence i.e. tendency to over use drugs/alcohol etc or overzealous evangelism etc? I hesitated to use the word 'incompetence' in that last sentence but decided to leave it there as I truly believe that when young minds are impregnated with the faith germ that they are being taught to be incompetent thinkers - to eschew the reason and logic of ones own reasoning skills actually hinders emotional development and fosters incompetence.


It could be interesting to see a study of just how many people who fall foul of the drugs and alcohol trades are hovering around that cognitive dissonance area where the learned helplessness they were taught in their early years is failing them on a grand scale by the time they are setting off on making their own decisions in life as independent individuals.


Id also love to see a study which is ostensibly based on something else but which has a questions in the area of; do you really believe in God or do you just  say you do to keep those around you happy?  If that was done in two ways i.e. anonymously and openly I imagine there would be quite an interesting response - it would of course need refining and is open to lots of variables too........



I cant do justice to your very interesting reply just now Fred and it may take 24 hrs but I will do so asap. Trish

OK Fred, as I mentioned I did hesitate to use the word incompetent but having decided to do so Im not about to go back on my decision - I mentioned the hesitation in order to point out that it wasnt a lightly used or unconsidered term, thats all. I strongly feel that faith fosters incompetent thinking - how faith works is that you have to put your personal thought to one side and believe something based on spiritual conviction with no necessity for proof or evidence, that to me is incompetent in the extreme and is essentially why Im an atheist instead of a believer, I have nurtured my own mind to seek proof at every juncture and see blind believing as a perilous path to choose in life, therefore, an incompetent thought process....  perhaps this letter from Dawkins to his daughter might outline my choice of the word better for you http://www.rationalresponders.com/richard_dawkins_letter_to_his_10_...
I dont want to seem rude here but the whole purpose of research is to remove the personal subjective reasoning and to put the various 'what if's' to rigorous scientific and objective testing - when some piece of research states "research has found" this means that the decision has been subjected to rigid scrutiny which removes variables and tests for replicability as well as different forms of bias....
I hope you didnt see my reply as rude Fred?


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