Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Psychology Study

(quoted from the website because it doesn't seem to be a stable enough url to link)

This study investigated the relationship of working memory to open and closed belief systems. Two hundred college students completed a working memory span test to measure verbal working memory, and Rokeach’s Dogmatism Scale (1956). Regression analysis was undertaken to determine the contribution of verbal working memory to dogmatism. A negative correlation was found between dogmatism scores and working memory scores (p = .002) confirming the hypothesis that those participants who display a larger working memory capacity would show lower levels of dogmatic beliefs than participants displaying a smaller working memory capacity. Error analysis was employed to determine the significance of inhibition processes; indicating that capacity limits in verbal working memory, and not processing deficits, were primarily responsible for poor working memory scores. Dogmatism was not found to be related to gender, age, ethnicity, religious affiliation, academic major, or level of education.

What little I can find out about the Rokeach Dogmatism Scale mentioned in the abstract this study doesn't necessarily consider 'dogmatic' purely in the sense of religion, although the only sample question given in this article seems to. I'd assume that the findings are equally applicable to the politically immovable and the religiously dogmatic. It must be considered, however, that I'm not even close to having the slightest understanding of the terms discussed so anything I say is a humanities graduate speculating aimlessly about science and should, therefore, be ignored.