Why Stickiness is not Enough to Explain Persistence of Counterintuitive Religious Concepts

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Authors
  1. Upal, M.A.
Corporate Authors
Defence Research and Development Canada, Toronto Research Centre , Toronto ON (CAN)
Abstract
Cognitive scientists of religion argue that religious ideas are widespread because they are minimally counterintuitive. Traditional lab studies have found support for a better memory for minimally counterintuitive concepts. This paper presents an in-depth case study of the spread of a counterintuitive religious idea in the real world. It finds that counterintuitiveness alone is not sufficient to guarantee persistence of a religious belief. Novel religious beliefs have to be painstakingly woven into the cultural fabric of a group’s shared social identity to ensure its survival.
Keywords
cognitive science of religion;semantic memory;cultural diffusion
Report Number
DRDC-RDDC-2015-P143 — External Literature
Date of publication
18 Dec 2015
Number of Pages
5
DSTKIM No
CA041821
CANDIS No
802874
Format(s):
Electronic Document(PDF)

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