New paper out: Intelligence and Religiosity among Dating Site Users (with Jordan Lasker)

We sought to assess whether previous findings regarding the relationship between cognitive ability and religiosity could be replicated in a large dataset of online daters (maximum n = 67k). We found that self-declared religious people had lower IQs than nonreligious people (atheists and agnostics). Furthermore, within most religious groups, a negative relationship between the strength of religious conviction and IQ was observed. This relationship was absent or reversed in nonreligious groups. A factor of religiousness based on five questions correlated at −0.38 with IQ after adjusting for reliability (−0.30 before). The relationship between IQ and religiousness was not strongly confounded by plausible demographic covariates (β = −0.24 in final model versus −0.30 without covariates).

Keywords: intelligence; religion; religious belief; atheism; agnosticism; Christianity; Catholicism; Hinduism; Judaism; Islam; OKCupid; cognitive ability

So, yet another OKCupid dataset paper!

People often ask me what the IQ items in the OKCupid dataset are. Here they are:

  1. Which is bigger, the earth or the sun?
  2. STALE is to STEAL as 89475 is to what?
  3. What is next in this series? 1, 4, 10, 19, 31, __
  4. If you turn a left-handed glove inside out, it fits on your left or right hand?
  5. In the line ‘’Wherefore art thou Romeo?’’ what does ‘’wherefore’’ mean?
  6. How many fortnights are in a year?
  7. Half of all policemen are thieves and half of all policemen are murderers. Does it follow logically that all policemen are criminals?
  8. Which is longer, a mile or a kilometer?
  9. When birds stand on power lines and don’t get hurt, it’s most likely because of what?
  10. Etymology is?
  11. If some men are doctors and some doctors are tall, does it follow that some men are tall?
  12. A little grade 10 science: what is the Ideal Gas Law?
  13. If you flipped three pennies, what would be the odds that they all came out the same?
  14. Which is the day before the day after yesterday?

Main figure

Figure 1. Mean cognitive ability by religious orientation and certainty. Error bars are 95% confidence intervals. Shaded regions are the 95% confidence intervals for the individual-level regression results. Groups without at least five cases are not shown.


Video talk