Assistant Professor of Psychology
Address: 423 Psychology Bldg.
603 E. Daniel Street
Champaign, IL 61820
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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
Ritter, R. S., Preston, J. L., & Hernandez, J.I. (2014). Happy Tweets: Christians are happier, more socially connected, and less analytical than Atheists on Twitter. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 5, 243 - 249.