Saturday, August 08, 2009

Does Religion Make You Smart?

Via Overcoming Bias, a report on some interesting correlations between undergraduate fields of study and religiosity:

Majoring in biological sciences, engineering, or vocational areas all increase religiosity about the same relative to not going to college. Majoring in education encourages religion even more, while majoring in physical science has about the same effect as no college. Majoring in humanities reduces religiosity relative to no college, and majoring in social science reduces it the most.

With the exception of education, which is widely recognized as the major the collects the dregs of the college-graduate population, it would appear that the majors that increase religiosity are high g-loaded quantitative disciplines chosen by the top scorers on standardized tests: engineering and physics. Meanwhile humanities and social science, whose students are found on the left side of the bell curve, are the least religious.

Somebody with more time and energy should look at these correlations more closely, but on the surface, it appears to refute Half Sigma's GSS-inspired assertion that religion makes you stoopid.

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