Chapter 2: Correlations Essay
In this study, psychologists record specific correlations displayed from surveying and collecting information from over 1,000 philosophers. The first two columns record either a survey answer or information regarding the philosophers in the study, and the final column shows the correlation coefficient, and whether it was a negative or positive correlation. Given this kind of study, researchers should be able to infer a causal connection between the variables if there were multiple high correlations between them.
First off, there was a +.32 correlation coefficient between “mind = brain” and “atheism.” Possible causations of this could be that since these philosophers were atheists, one who does not believe in God, also believe that the brain is only physical. This is a possible causation because if one does not believe in God, then it is very likely that they also do not believe that one’s thoughts are produced from the mind or soul, but strictly you’re brain makes up who you are and what you think. Another possible causation would be that atheists do not believe in heaven, meaning that they believe we don’t have a soul. Many theisms suggest that after you pass, you’re soul lives on, but atheists infer that once you’re dead then the brain is terminated and there is no soul to live on.
The second correlation that may have shown signs of causation is “theism” and “age.” These had a correlation coefficient of +.12, and there are several reasons why these two go hand in hand together. When young, it’s hard to grasp the concept of God and religion all at once. So it makes sense that the older and more intelligent these philosophers became, more of them were also becoming theists because they started to engage in religion and believe in God. Another possibility is that when adults start aging, they realize they are one day closer to their lives ending. Therefore, the older we get in life, whether 40 or 70 years old, many convert to theism to feel as if they will go to heaven once they pass. Therefore as age progresses, theism progresses.
Looking even further into these correlations, another study must be conducted to make sure these correlations actually are implying causation. A beneficial way of doing this is naturalistic observation. First, choose a…