Testing for the God Factor-Belief Analytics

I'm resurrecting, in part, a post from last March. Take a few minutes to answer the questions below and see if you are naturally inclined to believe in God.

The point of this post is not to discover truth or unravel mystery or prove my point. I am simply exploring the mystery of the human need to believe in a higher power. I am not trying to explain my beliefs or to understand your beliefs. I want to explore why do we or don't we believe in God(s) or religion.

Maybe, as pointed out in some scientific articles I've read, it boils down to what kind of 'thinker' you are. An interesting idea, but it falls short of explaining why I have come to where I am in my thinking and my beliefs. I want to sum up one article I read this morning on cognitive thinking and how the type of thinker you are leads to a belief, or disbelief, in God.

A reflective thinker is someone who analyzes and is logical by nature; while an intuitive thinker is more likely to feel their way and go with their gut feelings. The level of cognitive thinking can be partially determined by answering these three questions:

  1. A bat and a ball cost $1.10 in total. The bat costs $1.00 more than the ball. How much does the ball cost? 
  2. If it takes five machines five minutes to make five widgets, how long does it take 100 machines to make 100 widgets? 
  3. In a lake, there is a patch of lily pads. Every day, the patch doubles in size. If it takes 48 days for the patch to cover the entire lake, how long would it take for the patch to cover half of the lake? 
The more correct answers you get indicates you are a reflective, or analytic, thinker and the less likely you are to believe in God or other spiritual phenomena. The fewer correct answers you get indicates you are an intuitive thinker and the more likely your are to believe in God. It's not a measure of intelligence but a measure of logic and analytic abilities. 

Of course if you are a science or math whiz you might easily come to more correct answers. Are there scientists and math genius' that believe in God? Yes there are; are there intuitive thinkers who don't believe in God; yes obviously. These are just indicators and inclinations. I'm definitely an intuitive thinker.

Here are the answers: Five cents, five minutes, and forty-seven days.

The type of thinker we are is an indicator of our inclinations towards God. However; life happens and many of us go beyond our inclinations to come to other conclusions. I'm an intuitive thinker but through my life and my experiences I have come to a place in my life where I don't believe in God. Or at least I don't think it's important if there is a God or not. Even though I don't believe in God my intuitive nature still leans towards spiritual phenomena. I believe strongly in my intuitive nature which leads me towards all manner of woo woo.

I got every question wrong; however, once I saw the answers they made total sense and I was able to puzzle through the questions and come to the correct answers. This is my pattern; the way I approach a lot of things in my life. My first response is intuitive and visceral; however, I also enjoy puzzling my way through life in a more logical sort of way.

What do you think... (or feel)?


  1. I managed to get the second question right. So I guess I've lost some of the magical thinking. :)

  2. Good for you Donna. The first time I answered the questions I got all three of them wrong. After seeing the answers it all made sense and I could logic my way through. It's been about eight months since I have looked at the questions and I thought for sure I would be able to see the answers easily this time. But it was still hard for me to figure them out and I fancy myself a pretty smart person. I guess that means you can take the girl out of the magic but you can't take the magic out of the girl.

  3. I got all three questions right. >_>b

    I think your assumption is incorrect. Being bad at analytic thinking doesn't mean that you're good at intuitive thinking, or vice-versa. Both are skills that have separate uses, and I think it'd be interesting to see a separate quiz to gauge skill at intuitive thinking. Maybe something along the lines of an "emotional intelligence" test.

    I think intuition is very helpful in processing situations where there is no hard data or externally-verifiable evidence. You probably wouldn't construct a spreadsheet to determine your sexual orientation, for instance, unless you were really confused (or lacked intuitive reasoning skill and were trying to use what strengths you had).

    Each type of intelligence can come up with different, and not always equally useful, conclusions about a given situation. Analytic intelligence is very good at finding out if objective truth claims are correct, so long as they're testable. But unless there's hard data involved -- and having poor intuition, in this case, might mean one has trouble deciding what data to use and how to collect it -- it's not very good at figuring out what's best for your emotional well-being, whether you're trying to decide between smartphone OSes or churches.

    I think it's possible to have well-developed analytical and intuitive reasoning. To go to a particular church because you know on the one hand it's healthy for you, and you know on the other that they themselves entertain doubts about their untestable truth claims and agree with the verifiable evidence about the claims that can be tested. It's also possible for someone like this to not go to a church at all or have any spiritual or religious beliefs, because they correctly believe they don't need them. Just as different people have different aptitudes for each kind of thinking, I think different people have different needs for and should have different approaches to spirituality.

    I also think it's bad there there exist organizations like the LDS church, which seem to prey on people who have just enough intuitive reasoning to "know" that it makes them feel good but not enough analytical skill to see through its lies ... or enough intuition to realize that something that makes them feel good can badly hurt someone else.

    1. Hi jewelfox; welcome to Thoughts per Coffee. I agree with you; one can be good at both or one can be bad at both. I have another personality test for you. In this test Helen Fisher identifies four types of personalities. (Forgive me for putting people into boxes. I don't think that everyone fits neatly into categories; though I do find all of this fascinating).

      The four personality types are 'Builders', 'Directors', 'Explorers' and 'Negotiators'. There are easily drawn conclusions as to which personality types lend themselves to conservative religiosity. Though you do find all types within Mormondom you can guess which personality types struggle with questions and which personality types have no problem with strict rules... Or as you put it; allow themselves to be preyed upon by the LDS Church.

      Anyway here you go; I don't take it too seriously but I do enjoy the sociology of it all. http://thoughtspercoffee2.blogspot.com/2013/03/helen-fishers-personality-test.html

  4. On the Myers Briggs assessment, I come out strongly intuitive. And I do believe I have very good intuition, as the word is used in common parlance. I further believe that intuition is based on data gathered--it's just done faster and less consciously. Those of us who are hyper-vigilant (being raised in a fundamentalist family will do that to you) perhaps become strongly intuitive, eh?
    However, in addition to being intuitive, I am also a logical, analytical thinker who tends to prefer to do many things in a linear fashion. (BTW, I got the last two questions right but was stumped on the first one, failing to realize that the remaining ten cents would be split evenly between the bat and the ball because the bat cost ONLY $1.00 more than the ball. As others here have said, it made perfect sense to me once I saw the answer.) I am an artist, but I have long realized that I am a person with little imagination (my art tends to be fairly representational). When my daughter was little, I felt at a loss when she wanted to play any sort of pretend games with me. I have struggled my entire adult life with a nostalgia for my former belief in God, and struggled to understand how even some very smart people, whom I love (eg, said daughter), can believe in a supernatural power. The most interesting answer I have encountered was based on a woman's research (sorry, can't remember her name, but she was interviewed on NPR) connecting imagination and religious belief. Her thesis was that there is a correlation between imagination and belief in God (and conversely, lack of imagination and atheism). She further posits that imaginative people hear a voice in their head as "other" (God) whereas unimaginative people think of the voice in their head as a part of themselves. (I think Jiminy Cricket is my better self, you think Jiminy Cricket is the Lord.) This theory really struck a chord with me and somehow has helped me accept both my own point of view and others'. I feel less judgmental toward everyone, myself included.