Dreams have been described as dress rehearsals for real life, opportunities to gratify wishes, and a form of nocturnal therapy. A new theory aims to make sense of it all.
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A naturalist examines the cognitive and cultural foundations of religion, science, and more
Robert N. McCauley Ph.D.
The applicability of the Big 5 personality dimensions may be limited to WEIRD societies.
A new book aims to explain the many cognitive oddities of people who live in Western, educated, industrialized, rich, and democratic (i.e., WEIRD) societies.
An increasing number of Americans have come to reject religious affiliation in recent years, but the current series of national and global crises may reverse that trend.
With much of the world in quarantine, some are pushing for a rapid end to restrictions. But common sense and intuition are not enough in this pandemic.
The current American administration has restricted appeals to scientific evidence in many government agencies, threatening not just sound policy-making but freedom itself.
Cinematic films have struggled to find success amid a worldwide boom in superhero movies and other "franchise pictures." The causes lie deeper than simple supply and demand.
People in religious societies tend to be deeply skeptical about the moral goodness of people without religion. Are people in secular societies any different?
The choice not to vaccinate may seem like a personal matter, but it puts vulnerable populations at risk.
The decentralized power structure of the Southern Baptist Convention may be enabling sexually wayward clergy.
Findings on Credibility Enhancing Displays (CREDs) suggest that embracing the Trump presidency as one ordained by God may ultimately prove detrimental to evangelicals’ aims.
New genetic and archaeological findings raise questions about the possibility of other species with religious sensibilities.
Humans' recollections of maps, even ones that they have seen frequently, may illustrate the claim that underlying cognitive biases shape perception and memory.
Many Trump administration policies—some well-known, some obscure—are antithetical to the continued flourishing of science in America.
Was the author of Pilgrim's Progress plagued by obsessive-compulsive disorder or simply a particularly dutiful Christian?
Why using search engines is probably not the best way to start learning about scientific controversies.
Low impact, vanity e-journals flood the inboxes of academic scientists every day with flattering emails in search of new articles to publish for a fee.
Do the increasing restrictions that the sciences' successes impose on agent explanations apply even to human agency?
We are not naturally inclined to perceive the world in conformity with even our most familiar and well-learned scientific commitments.
New experimental findings suggest that we seek and stress corroborating evidence based on what we desire.
Why insist that religion is immune from scientific study when cognitive and evolutionary theories have already made great strides in explaining a wide array of religious phenomena?
Modern understanding of autistic spectrum disorders may shed light on the eccentric behavior of the Hindu saint, Ramakrishna Paramahamsa.
It is difficult to transmit a religion for long, if all of its members abstain from sex.
Vice President-Elect Mike Pence probably underestimates the pervasiveness and the near inevitability of implicit bias.
Although purely devotional practices seem to reinforce explicit religious beliefs, they seem to have little effect on either implicit religious representations or their influence.
Natural penchants of mind, such as anthropomorphism, dispose people to think about gods in ways that often conflict with their religions' doctrines.
Recent worries about the failure to replicate the findings of important studies in experimental psychology may well be unfounded.
Humans have devised no better general approaches than those of science for adjudicating disputes about empirical facts.
Both the cognitive by-product theory of religious representations and theories of secularization offer pessimistic appraisals of these new evangelical measures.
Religions in America must adapt to changing conditions in order to survive in a competitive marketplace.
New research findings from Finland suggest that facility with theory of mind may be less important for religious belief than most cognitive scientists of religion have assumed.
Robert N. McCauley, Ph.D., is the author of Why Religion Is Natural and Science Is Not. He is a professor of philosophy at Emory University.