Jesse Preston

Section 1

Division: Social-Personality

Assistant Professor of Psychology

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Contact Information:

  • Address:
    423 Psychology Bldg.
    603 E. Daniel Street
    Champaign, IL 61820
  • Download my C.V.

Research Description

I study the Cognitive Science of Religion with a focus on the conflict between science and religion.  For instance, my work has found that strong scientific explanations for mysterious phenomena (e.g., life, the experience of consciousness) can decrease religious explanations (e.g., God as creator, belief in soul). But when scientific explanations are weak, belief in religious explanations is increased,  what is sometimes called "God-in-the-gaps effect". 

More broadly, I am interested in conflicting attitudes and competition between moral goals. Along this theme I have conducted research on religious disgust, prosociality, political attitudes, and attitudes toward climate change. 


  • B.A. Psychology, University of Winnipeg, 1999
  • PhD, Social Psychology, Harvard University, 2005


Section 2


Facilities Information

Psychology Bldg Roof Project Moves Ahead

The project to reroof the Psychology Building is moving forward with the installation of the new skylights. The ATRIUM has been closed while these are being installed, and will be closed for a week afterward so it can be thoroughly cleaned. We hope that the Atrium will be reopened on Monday, June 22.