Psych 354- Implicit Prejudice Paper

Psych 354- Implicit Prejudice Paper - Implicit Bias in...

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Implicit Bias in Psychology against Theism: Repentance Caitlin Dekker Dr. Reber: Psychology of Religion Brigham Young University April 14, 2011 Mainstream psychology denies the existence of God and, by extension, the study of religion because of lack of empirical evidence or lack of the ability to study spiritual experiences
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Implicit Bias empirically. Although the American Psychological Association (APA) attempts to reduce biases in the study of psychology, the bias against theism is inherent. In fact, Division 36 of APA states that Psychology of Religion “fosters constructive dialogue and interchange between psychological study and practice on the one hand and between religious perspectives and institutions on the other” (“Psychology of Religion,” 2011). This division automatically discounts the study of religious practices theistically as empiricism alone is thought to bring ultimate truth. B. D. Slife and J. S. Reber (2009) discuss this bias against theism, believing that indifference toward theistic religion in psychological scholarship is a fundamental part of the bias. Much of psychology focuses on the naturalistic method of study, emphasizing natural and observable events. Slife and Reber argue that compatibility among the two worldviews of theism and naturalism is possible, but most of psychology assumes that this “presumed compatibility” eliminates any bias against theism. Many psychologists believe that theism is simply naturalism plus God. However, this “add-on” perspective is troublesome for a theist because it makes God non-functional in the world. Thus, Slife and Reber argue that this “compatibility” actually suggests an inherent incompatibility between theism and psychology. The incompatibility between theism and psychology is manifest in how researchers conduct studies of religious topics and how they interpret the results in a strictly non-theistic manner. According to J. S. Reber in his article Secular Psychology (2006), historically this bias was never meant to exist; early secular psychologists never intended for religion to be separate from academic pursuits. It doesn’t make sense that the many psychologists, psychiatrists, and clients who believe in a God or higher power would not use religion in their therapy, theory, or
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Implicit Bias research. Thus, a full study of human psychological well-being must include religious experiences and their relationship to other psychological phenomena. One example of the implicit bias against theism in psychology can be found in the article
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Psych 354- Implicit Prejudice Paper - Implicit Bias in...

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