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Justin E. Lane

Justin E. Lane received his DPhil from the University of Oxford’s Institute for Cognitive and Evolutionary Anthropology and is currently a Research Fellow at the Center for Modeling Social Systems and the CTO at Prospectus Solutions AS. His research focuses on the use of computational methods and cognitive science to study the stability of social systems and cybernetics.  Specifically, he’s interested in how social and environmental ecologies contribute to violence, the stability and instability of social systems, political movements, and economic and demographic shifts.



How the Non-Religious View the Personality of God in Relation to Themselves

Issue: 8:3 (the thirty first issue)
In this study we examined the applicability of personality measures to assessing God representations, and we explored how the overlap between personality judgments of self and God relate to strength of (dis)belief and closeness to God among atheists and agnostics. Using sample of 1,088 atheists/agnostics, we applied Goldberg's Big Five bipolar markers as a standardized measure of personality dimensions, along with measures of identity fusion with God, belief strength, and sociosexuality, as this trait has been shown to be relevant in predicting religiosity. Our study revealed that personality measures can be used for research on the personality of supernatural agents. We also found that personality self-assessments were related to the assessments of God personality. Agreeableness was positively related to the perception of emotional stability of God, while conscientiousness and surgency were negatively related to perceived intellect and surgency of god, respectively. Also, intellect of the participants was related negatively to perceptions of God's emotional stability and intellect. Perceived distance between the assessment of one's own personality and the personality of God predicted the strength of (dis)belief, thus opening new interpretations into possible sources of belief and disbelief. Finally, echoing previous studies, we found that conscientiousness of God had a negative effect on SOI-R score.