W.P.M. van den Wildenberg
- Losing the big picture: How religion may control visual attention
- PLoS One
- Volume | Issue number
- 3 | 11
- Number of pages
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Psychology Research Institute (PsyRes)
Despite the abundance of evidence that human perception is penetrated by beliefs and expectations, scientific research so far has entirely neglected the possible impact of religious background on attention. Here we show that Dutch Calvinists and atheists, brought up in the same country and culture and controlled for race, intelligence, sex, and age, differ with respect to the way they attend to and process the global and local features of complex visual stimuli: Calvinists attend less to global aspects of perceived events, which fits with the idea that people's attentional processing style reflects possible biases rewarded by their religious belief system.
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