The accessibility of religious beliefs

Adam Cohen, Azim F. Shariff, Peter C. Hill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


We used reaction time techniques to study individual differences in accessibility of beliefs about the reality of religious targets. Moderately religious people were slower than religious or irreligious people. Religious people were faster than non-religious people. Reaction times to classify religious stimuli are stable over 8 days. We also found that religious people with accessible beliefs have the highest well-being, and that religious beliefs correspond to greater levels of religious behavior when the reality of religious stimuli is accessible. These results further our understanding on natural individual differences in attitude accessibility and add to our understanding of religious beliefs, including their impact.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1408-1417
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Research in Personality
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2008


  • Attitude accessibility
  • Religious beliefs
  • Religiousness
  • Satisfaction with life

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • General Psychology


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