Thoughts on CRT

Cognitive Reflection Test

  • A bat and a ball cost $1.10 in total. The bat cost $1.00 more than the ball. How much does the ball cost?
  • If it takes five machines five minutes to make five widgets, how long does it take 100 machines to make 100 widgets?
  • In a lake, there is a patch of lily pads. Ever day the patch doubles in size. If it takes 48 days for the patch to cover the entire lake, how long would it take for the patch to cover half the lake?

The higher your score, from 0-3, the greater your tendency to reflect on spontaneous thoughts. Psychologists who study the origins of religion say belief in God relies on several intuitions, including a teleological bias (the assumption that certain objects or event were designed intentionally) and Cartesian dualism (the belief that mind can exist independently of the body). So to become an atheist one must second-guess these automatic ways of thinking. And recently a number of studies have supported the idea that belief in God is influenced by cognitive style—how much of a second-guesser you are. Better scores on the CRT are correlated not only with lower religious belief but also with lower belief in other paranormal phenomena—mind reading, witchcraft, omens, spirits, astrology. Supernatural beliefs are intuitive, a default. Skeptics have to deliberately think their way out of their instincts. It is those people with a greater tendency to think reflectively who deny the existence of God and other magical phenomena. Everyone else (and presumably the reflective thinkers, too, before they reflect) just accepts that the universe has a mind of its own. Maybe we can’t prove this view to be wrong, but can prove this: Those who hold it are wrong on many other things, including the price of a baseball.

Fragmented commentary extracted from What Kind of Thinker Believes in God? by Matthew Hutson

That’s interesting and I have to admit that I “intuitively” answered 10¢ for the first one but after a moment of reflection, changed it to the correct answer. With the other two questions, I quickly deduced the correct answers. I’ll agree with the premise that my score indicates a tendency to reflect on spontaneous (intuitive thoughts) and I’ll tentatively consider that it may also indicate a lower religious belief or a belief in God.

I will say that I do not follow the Western (Judeo-Christian) manifestation of God as an omnipotent, all-knowing, anthropomorphic deity who sits in judgement of us, demanding that we love and fear him. My concept of the Divine (God) is more influenced by Eastern philosophies (the Vedas, Hinduism, Taoism, and Buddhism). My idea is that the Divine is the ultimate source of everything, the energy that powers it and the consciousness that guides it. It’s essense is contained in everything. It is beyond name and form and is not an object of worship. God does not do things on our behalf, smite the wicked, or sit in judgement. God is the witness. I have not fully accepted this concept but I’m open to the possibilities it holds.

In my study of yoga, Eastern philosophy and Vedic texts, I’m learning to put more trust in my intuition and my instincts. I don’t see intuition as God acting through me but as listening to my own divine nature, something that is part of my intelligence, not separate from it. I lean toward the tantric concepts of non-duality and the ideas that we are all connected and we are not separate from God.


Author: Rick

I'm a simple man, trying to make my way in the universe.