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'The Relation Between Intelligence and Religiosity: A Meta-Analysis and Some Proposed Explanations', published in the 'Personality and Social Psychology Review', even during early years the more intelligent a child is the more likely it would be to turn away from religion.
In old age above average intelligence people are less likely to believe, the researchers also found.
One of the studies used in Zuckerman's paper was a life-long analysis of the beliefs of 1,500 gifted children with with IQs over 135.
The study began in 1921 and continues today. Even in extreme old age the subjects had much lower levels of religious belief than the average population.
The review, which is the first systematic meta-analysis of the 63 studies conducted in between 1928 and 2012, showed that of the 63 studies, 53 showed a negative correlation between intelligence and religiosity, while 10 showed a positive one.
Only two studies showed significant positive correlations and significant negative correlations were seen in a total of 35 studies.
The authors of the review looked at each study independently, taking into account the quality of data collection, the size of the sample and the analysis methods used.
The three psychologists carrying out the review defined intelligence as the “ability to reason, plan, solve problems, think abstractly, comprehend complex ideas, learn quickly, and learn from experience”.
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