Feeling Types Less Likely to Believe in Evolution

In a study of University of Wisconsin Colleges students, participants with Feeling preferences were more likely to believe in creationism, while students with Thinking preferences favored secular evolution.

Students completed questionnaires designed to indicate their belief or acceptance of God and the theory of evolution, and to determine their personality type. (It is worthwhile to note that, in Gallup polls of religion by state, Wisconsin inhabitants consistently indicate that they are as religious, or very slightly less religious, than the average American.) 50% of the participants were determined to be Creationists, scoring high in a belief in a god with a low acceptance of evolution. Researchers were not surprised to find a connection between Feeling types and the Creationists, as prior personality research has consistently demonstrated a link between the Feeling preference and religion.

17.7% of the students were categorized as Secular Evolutionists, those who indicated a low belief in God but a high belief in evolution. Again, the fact that the Secular Evolutionist participants were more likely to be Thinking types was not unexpected. Thinking types prefer to make decisions based on supporting data and logical analysis rather than personal feelings or values, an approach that can conflict with faith-based religion.

Also interesting was the fact that 17.2% of the participants indicated no strong belief in either God or evolution, a response classified as Other. This percentage is almost as high as that of the Secular Evolutionists and higher than Theistic Evolutionists (15.1%), who scored high in both theism and evolution. Amongst the Other and Theistic Evolutionist categories, Perceiving types were more common than other types. This may be related to the tendency of Perceiving types to avoid make decisions, preferring instead to keep their options open.

The researchers hope that studies of this nature will increase religious tolerance by inspiring people to consider that religious differences may be more a matter of personality type, rather than right or wrong.

The Study was led by the University of Wisconsin and published in the March 2011 issue of the Journal of Psychological Type.

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Comments

Guest (not verified) says...

Well, THAT is interesting! I have always flip-flopped from test to test on my F and my T, always near the line on that one (but pretty solidly an EN and P, even over 20 years and with the life changes that come with time).

I am religious enough to have gone to Seminary and consider a calling to priesthood. But I belong to an extremely liberal church. I do believe in the Creation myth, in that I believe there is a higher power responsible for the physical world. But I also love science and relish learning about new discoveries about our history. To my mind, learning more and more about ourselves isn't in conflict with belief in God. Science enhances our understanding of Creation.

I find it very interesting that this world view is so consistent with the results of the study you cite. Makes you think about whether God created us in His image, or we created Him in ours.... (and I'd be fine with either answer.)

Guest (not verified) says...

Why would you call creation a myth while in the same sentence you said you believed in it? (Does not compute)

Guest (not verified) says...

The word "myth" does not, in and of itself, render something untrue. When I took courses in mythology and folklore, that was the very first thing the professors always said.

myth: a traditional or legendary story, usually concerning some being or hero or event, WITH OR WITHOUT a determinable basis of fact or a natural explanation, especially one that is concerned with deities or demigods and explains some practice, rite, or phenomenon of nature.

egilhomelockett says...

i think the word you're looking for is legend (:

Guest (not verified) says...

I also am I mix between F and T, and this study doesn't surprise me at all.

Guest19 (not verified) says...

i agree i think evolution is god's blueprint or operators manual of change for earth it is a kind of fate one could say

Guest (not verified) says...

Evolution is quite illogical - especially if you believe a Creator is involved. I'm an INTJ and I am an artist. I find the idea of both unguided evolution and theistic evolution ludicrous. The sheer odds of anything forming in any sort of design or operative pattern without a conscious, deliberate designer involved are nil. Even simple working designs created by a graphic artist involve complex mathematical formulas whether the artist is aware of such or not. If the math isn't correct, the design does not work. As for the world around us, have you looked at a sunflower seed head lately? It's not only intriguingly ordered and beautiful but math is happening there! (Do a search on Fibonacci sequence and the golden ratio.)Our Father is intimately involved in our lives and spent time considering us in detail and fashioning each one of us along with our, originally perfect, world for us to live in. I've seen Rembrandt's Nightwatch. After a destroyer knifed it, it was repaired and put behind glass. When our lives are marred or damaged, we can be not only healed but restored for The Original Artist is still the same yesterday, today and forever. He healed my damaged heart. First emotionally, then physically -- better than the original. :)

An ISFP (not verified) says...

Your "J" is showing! ;)

Guest (not verified) says...

Interesting, I am actually an atheist "feeler" but this study doesn't surprise me.

Guest (not verified) says...

I'm guessing this only really applies to the USA... Almost everybody in the rest of the world believes in evolution (including religious people).

cgriff337 says...

Maybe in Europe, but save China. in Eastern culture, evolution is vastly denied. Especially both of the Koreas (even more so North for obvious reasons, but South has extremely high Christian and Buhddist populations). Also Indonesia has extremely high Muslim populations. Australia is about the only one in the East that has a high evolutionist population where it isn't enforced (China), but they are more European in culture anyway.

Guest (not verified) says...

I am not sure where you are getting your facts from CGRIFF337 but according to National Centre for Science Education, CA (2011), 57% of Indonesians believe in the evolutionist theory (that human beings were in fact created over a long period of time of evolution growing into fully formed human beings they are today from lower species such as apes) more so than the 40% in the United States.

I am ethnically Tibetan but was born in India did Uni studies in New Zealand and now am living in Australia. I follow both Hinduism and Buddhism. I have traveled to many Asian countries. A vast majority of Chinese, Koreans, Malaysian (mainly muslims), Indians (Hindus), Indonesians (again Muslims), Japanese and other asians believe in evolution. We do not mix religion with facts. Religion for us is more about our cultural identity and heritage than misconstruing scientific facts.

Guest (not verified) says...

I'm a nearly 100% thinker and a complete creationist. With complete objectivity and justice I have reviewed both creationism and evolution. I have decided that we had to have started from somewhere, and evolution doesn't answer the question. I'm still not sure as to...where the chemicals for the big bang came from? There had to be some outside power that does NOT require creation, to create us. The spiritual realm would make perfect sense.

Guest (not verified) says...

Yes! Thanks for saying that.

Guest (not verified) says...

I agree with you completely. I'm an INTP, which some tests indicate is the lowest of all types believing in a higher being. But, evolution has no answer for: Who are we? Were did we come from? and Where are we going when we die? I think, of course, that a lot of "religion" is hopeful in trying to explain the higher mysteries of life. What I really want to know is currently unknowable. What a bummer!

Joshi (not verified) says...

If you are interested in learning one scientist's answer to this question, you should consider reading Lawrence Krauss's A Universe From Nothing. It addresses this specific "problem" with the Bog Bang theory. http://amzn.to/2cmPkGd

Guest (not verified) says...

I float between T & F, but the INFP profile fits me a little more snugly than the INTP does. I can see how certain personality traits tend to guide people towards more religious thinking, so I agree with others that this isn't all that surprising. However, before I even *thought* about my spirituality, I felt I didn't belong as a Catholic, and now I'm the odd one out in my family.

Also, there are a lot of religious individuals who believe Darwin got it right. For a while I even said God created the pieces and let the system he devised take its course. Now only evolution feels right, I guess.

Guest (not verified) says...

I believe in evolution but I've always FELT the theory is missing something important and we need much more research on it to have it complete. I also suspect that human beings might have existed even millions of years ago in a form we are today. But still, I FEEL the evolution exists. Go figure ;p

Joffre ("JD") Meyer (not verified) says...

I'm an ENFP and theistic evolutionist, who wrote an article about my sermon for the Unitarian-Universalist Association: "Evolution: Integrator of the Sciences & Spiritual Inspiration." How about a Praise God for radioactive dating! https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/evolution-integrator-sciences-spiritual-i...

Guest (not verified) says...

I too am an atheist 'feeler' but this study is American so I suspect that makes a significant difference.

Guest (not verified) says...

God explains where it started. Evolution seems to be a good hypothesis on how. After a lot of reading on a lot of different opinions, facts, hypothesis, and listening to people go back and forth about it in seminars for a long time. It seems to me that nothing makes sense at all if you take God out of it. More or less, a rainbow is made out of water and light, but God made the water and the light as well as the law that states it. Same with evolution.. sure Bang happened and all the rest followed and for the most part seems true. Evolution doesn't make sense without God, nor vice cersa. To me it seems you can't believe in one without the other. But considering that God is considered the starting point of the "Big Bang", I suppose the question for me that I think we should move on to is WHY and not HOW?

Guest (not verified) says...

I have always believed that if the highest power in existence spoke those famous "Let there" phrases, the Big Bang would be exactly what would follow. I love learning about science and the laws of the universe, because I really do believe that science and faith go hand in hand - faith does what science cannot do, but science sets the laws of what is "impossible," making the manifestations of faith all the more spectacular. Also, as someone who is a creator (artist), it's hard to understand how people can look at how beautiful the earth and celestial bodies and formations are and still deny that there is an artist who formed it all. I believe that the human mind cannot possibly comprehend all the knowledge and wisdom that exists, that there are things that will never make sense to us, regardless of how many microscopes we invent or theories we compose. To think that we are the standard of what makes sense and what doesn't based on our flawed logic is a perfect example of what makes our logic flawed. We can barely understand ourselves and each other - how can we ever think to answer the "why"s and "how"s of the universe?

In my opinion, what C.S Lewis rings true. I don't have the exact quote, but he said something akin to: If Christianity is false, it is of no importance. But if it is true, it is of the highest importance.
That alone is reason enough to believe (though it isn't my only reason). However, I do respect the opinions and beliefs of others quite willingly, as long as that respect is reciprocated.

Joshi (not verified) says...

This is probably a very INTJ thing to say, but the good news is, evolution doesn't care if you "believe" in it.

The theory of evolution is scientific fact. If the words "theory" and "fact" in the previous sentence confuse you, then you don't have the credibility to weigh in on this issue.

It must be frustrating for researchers who spend their entire lives working in a scientific field to be dismissed by some smug person who read a couple chapters of Genesis and thinks that makes them an expert.

Guest (not verified) says...

Evolution is not a fact. In fact, it cannot even be considered a theory. It's a model.

Joshi (not verified) says...

Thanks, very insightful.

I you would like to learn what the words you used mean, check out this article:
http://www.nas.edu/evolution/TheoryOrFact.html

nightflowerk says...

Well I am INFP but my learning disability made it impossible to cherry pick the Bible and I felt very conflicted. It was only by moving in with an Atheist observing his behaviors didn't see anything that indicated that he lack morals due to his disbelief and then I in a manner of speaking met Carl Sagan and if you ever had any doubts that maybe those who wrote these ancient text did so in order to survive the dessert as nomads and needed there own version of a Sun God. I believe that those who continue this tradition of teaching this myth are doing further generations a disservice and if at any time you have threaten your child that if they misbehave they are going to hell or the equivalent as my step-mom did put my hand over a heated stove and told me that if I didn't behave that is what it was to feel like when I died for eternity you should be ashamed assure your child that they will never have to worry about such a place. Anyways I believe in the big bang. I like the idea that I come from star stuff.

nightflowerk says...

Well I am INFP but my learning disability made it impossible to cherry pick the Bible and I felt very conflicted. It was only by moving in with an Atheist observing his behaviors didn't see anything that indicated that he lack morals due to his disbelief and then I in a manner of speaking met Carl Sagan and if you ever had any doubts that maybe those who wrote these ancient text did so in order to survive the dessert as nomads and needed there own version of a Sun God. I believe that those who continue this tradition of teaching this myth are doing further generations a disservice and if at any time you have threaten your child that if they misbehave they are going to hell or the equivalent as my step-mom did put my hand over a heated stove and told me that if I didn't behave that is what it was to feel like when I died for eternity you should be ashamed assure your child that they will never have to worry about such a place. Anyways I believe in the big bang. I like the idea that I come from star stuff.

Guest (not verified) says...

I'm so glad another INFP believes in evolution.

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