Creativity and positive schizotypy influence the conflict between science and religion

James MacPherson, Stephen Kelly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Recent research suggests that evaluations of scientific and religious explanations compete for ‘explanatory space’. This study examines whether a combination of positive schizotypy (PS) and creativity can partly explain why a scientist committed to empirical measurement and evidence could hold a concomitant faith-based view of the world. The O-LIFE, the religious orientation Scale and the Creative Personality Scale were completed by (n = 222) PhD level Scientists and a Control group of (n = 193) non-scientists. Regression analyses found that PS and creativity accounted for a significant degree of variance in religiosity in the Scientist sample. This relationship was not demonstrated in the Control group, nor was it affected by the intrinsic/extrinsic religiosity dimension. These findings suggest that PS and creativity help afford religious beliefs when commitment to empiricism is high. Links to cognitive processing styles such as syncretic cognition and Transliminality are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)446-450
Number of pages5
JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
Issue number4
Early online date4 Dec 2010
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2011


  • schizotypy
  • religion
  • creativity
  • transliminality
  • syncretic cognition


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