Jonathan Jong

Jonathan Jong
Coventry University | CU · Centre for Research in Psychology, Behaviour and Achievement

PhD.,

About

72
Publications
30,975
Reads
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1,183
Citations
Additional affiliations
March 2012 - October 2015
University of Oxford
Position
  • Project Manager
June 2006 - February 2012
University of Otago
Position
  • Laboratory Manager
Education
September 2008 - September 2011
University of Otago
Field of study
  • Psychology

Publications

Publications (72)
Article
Full-text available
An amendment to this paper has been published and can be accessed via a link at the top of the paper.
Article
Full-text available
We present two datasets from a project about the relationship between traumatic life experiences and religiosity. These include data from 1,754 individuals in the United States (n = 322), Brazil (n = 205), China (n = 202), India (n = 205), Indonesia (n = 205), Russia (n = 205), Thailand (n = 205), and Turkey (n = 205). Surveys were consistent acros...
Preprint
We present two datasets from a project about the relationship between traumatic life experiences and religiosity. These include data from 1,754 individuals in the United States (n = 322), Brazil (n = 205), China (n = 202), India (n = 205), Indonesia (n = 205), Russia (n = 205), Thailand (n = 205), and Turkey (n = 205). Surveys were consistent acros...
Article
Full-text available
We present three datasets from a project about the relationship between death anxiety and religiosity. These include data from 1,838 individuals in the United States (n = 813), Brazil (n = 800), Russia (n = 800), the Philippines (n = 200), South Korea (n = 200), and Japan (n = 219). Measures were largely consistent across samples: they include meas...
Preprint
Full-text available
The rise of the “nones” — individuals who are variously nonreligious — has recently piqued the interest of social scientists, not least because levels of secularization in the United States seem to now be catching up to those in Western Europe. The study of the nonreligious, though, can sometimes seem like the study of people who do not play ball,...
Article
Full-text available
(forthcoming in the journal Secular Studies) In accordance with Terror Management Theory research, secular beliefs can serve an important role for mitigating existential concerns by providing atheists with a method to attain personal meaning and bolster self-esteem. Although much research has suggested that religious beliefs are powerful defense me...
Preprint
We present three datasets from a project about the relationship between death anxiety and religiosity. These include data from 1,838 individuals in the United States (n = 813), Brazil (n = 800), Russia (n = 800), the Philippines (n = 200), South Korea (n = 200), and Japan (n = 219). Measures were largely consistent across samples: they include meas...
Preprint
In accordance with Terror Management Theory research, secular beliefs can serve an important role for mitigating existential concerns by providing atheists with a method to attain personal meaning and bolster self-esteem. Although much research has suggested that religious beliefs are powerful defense mechanisms, these effects are limited or reveal...
Article
Full-text available
Asking about religious beliefs, or lack thereof, is a sensitive and complex issue. Due to cultural norms, people may be motivated to respond in a socially desirable way. In addition, deliberating about beliefs may yield different responses than intuition-based responses. To develop a better understanding of the relationship between intuition and se...
Article
We investigated if interpersonal synchrony can lead to a sense of agency over another’s movement (extended self-agency). In Experiment 1, we found that extended self-agency was greater during synchrony than asynchrony. However, we also found that synchrony boosted participants’ sense that the other performer had agency over their actions (extended...
Article
Full-text available
Objective: Previous research has shown contradictory evidence for the relationship between religiosity and trauma; exposure to traumatic life events has been associated with both increases and decreases in religiosity over time. On the basis of a long theoretical tradition of linking death and religious belief and recent empirical evidence that th...
Article
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The minimal group paradigm has consistently shown that people will discriminate to favor their own group over an out-group, even when both groups are created arbitrarily by an experimenter. But will people actually form groups that are so arbitrary? And could something as trivial as a randomly assigned nametag color serve as a fault-line during gro...
Preprint
Introduction to a special issue on the nature of "religious belief".
Article
Full-text available
A cross‐sectional study was conducted with 605 practitioners of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) to test hypothesis that high arousal rituals promote social cohesion, primarily through identity fusion. BJJ promotion rituals are rare, highly emotional ritual events that often feature gruelling belt whipping gauntlets. We used the variation in such experien...
Article
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Separate research streams have identified synchrony and arousal as two factors that might contribute to the effects of human rituals on social cohesion and cooperation. But no research has manipulated these variables in the field to investigate their causal-and potentially interactive-effects on prosocial behaviour. Across four experimental session...
Article
Full-text available
Religion has long been speculated to function as a strategy to ameliorate our fear of death. Terror management theory provides two possible causal pathways through which religious beliefs can fulfil this function. According to the “worldview defence” account of terror management, worldviews reduce death anxiety by offering symbolic immortality: on...
Technical Report
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The 10-item scale measures the tendency to believein supernatural entities such as immaterial agents, afterlife/otherworld places,and miraculous earthly events. The scale is intended to be a valid indicator of the cognitive component of religiosity, capturing ten cross-cultural beliefs that appearas religious themes in various religious contexts in...
Preprint
A cross-sectional study was conducted with 605 practitioners of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) to test hypothesis that high arousal rituals promote social cohesion, primarily through identity fusion bonds. BJJ promotion rituals are rare, highly emotional ritual events that often feature gruelling belt whipping gauntlets. We used the variation in such ex...
Article
Full-text available
Social group dynamics are a defining topic of psychological science, yet the field still lacks methods of tracking groups with precision and control. Previous methods have been hampered by limitations either to external validity (e.g., ecologically deficient environments) or to internal validity (e.g., quasi-experimental designs), but a new techniq...
Article
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Guest deaths are an inevitable aspect of the hospitality industry. In Study 1, participants read a vignette in which the previous guest died of natural causes, suicide, or homicide. Those who learned of a death (a) saw the room as less valuable, (b) opted to stay in a more basic room in which no death occurred, despite both rooms being offered for...
Article
Full-text available
There is considerable evidence for the effectiveness of mind–body interventions (MBIs) in improving mental and physical health, but the molecular mechanisms of these benefits remain poorly understood. One hypothesis is that MBIs reverse expression of genes involved in inflammatory reactions that are induced by stress. This systematic review was con...
Article
Full-text available
Various theories of religion hypothesize a connection between death anxiety and religiosity. In particular, Terror Management Theory’s worldview defence hypothesis predicts that death anxiety is lowest among very religious and irreligious individuals, and highest among uncertain individuals. Likewise, the supposition that death anxiety motivates re...
Article
Full-text available
Willingness to lay down one’s life for a group of non-kin, well documented historically and ethnographically, represents an evolutionary puzzle. Building on research in social psychology, we develop a mathematical model showing how conditioning cooperation on previous shared experience can allow individually costly pro-group behavior to evolve. The...
Article
The virtues of Hilbert’s mathematical problems – or, at least, the best of them – were that they were simply and unambiguously stated, enticingly difficult, and generated yet more advances in mathematics than just the solution of the problems themselves. In the spirit of Hilbert, albeit in empirical mode, we pose the following question to scholars...
Article
To be accepted into social groups, individuals must internalize and reproduce appropriate group conventions, such as rituals. The copying of such rigid and socially stipulated behavioral sequences places heavy demands on executive function. Given previous research showing that challenging executive functioning improves it, it was hypothesized that...
Article
Religion has long been speculated to function as a strategy to ameliorate our fear of death. Terror management theory provides two possible causal pathways through which religious beliefs can fulfil this function. According to the “worldview defence” account of terror management, worldviews reduce death anxiety by offering symbolic immortality: on...
Article
Full-text available
Despite claims about the universality of religious belief, whether religiosity scales have the same meaning when administered inter-subjectively–or translated and applied cross-culturally–is currently unknown. Using the recent “Supernatural Belief Scale” (SBS), we present a primer on how to verify the strong assumptions of measurement invariance re...
Data
CFA Model Fit: Alternative Measurement Models. (PDF)
Data
Unidimensional model for supernatural belief (SB). (EPS)
Data
Essentially unidimensional model (SB) with five facets (correlated uniqueness). (EPS)
Data
Five-dimensional model (High & low agents, after-life entities, places, events). (EPS)
Data
Essentially unidimensional model (SB) with method factor and five facets (correlated uniqueness). (EPS)
Data
Two-dimensional model (negative items and others). (EPS)
Data
Supernatural Belief Scale (Items in English). (PDF)
Data
Psychometric Models and Confirmatory Factor Analysis. (PDF)
Data
Formulas for Reliability Computation. (PDF)
Data
Essentially unidimensional model (SB) plus method factor. (EPS)
Data
Essentially unidimensional model (SB) with method factor and five facets (content factors). (EPS)
Data
Two-dimensional model (agents and others). (EPS)
Article
Previous research has found that behavioural synchrony between people leads to greater prosocial tendencies towards co-performers. In this study, we investigated the scope of this prosocial effect: does it extend beyond the performance group to an extended ingroup (extended parochial prosociality) or even to other people in general (generalized pro...
Article
Full-text available
Across three studies, we examined the role of shared negative experiences in the formation of strong social bonds-identity fusion-previously associated with individuals' willingness to self-sacrifice for the sake of their groups. Studies 1 and 2 were correlational studies conducted on two different populations. In Study 1, we found that the extent...
Data
Additional instructions, measures, and materials. (DOCX)
Article
Full-text available
Two studies tested the hypothesis that religious homogamy—assortative mating on the basis of religion—can be partly explained by inferences about religious individuals’ openness to experience, rather than attitudes toward religion per se. Results of Study 1 indicated that non-religious participants perceived non-religious targets to be higher in op...
Article
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Article
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In recent years, theoretical and empirical work done under the rub-ric of the cognitive science of religion (CSR) have led many to conclude that religion (or, at least, some aspects thereof) is " natural ". By this, it is meant that human beings are predisposed to believe in supernatural agents, and that their beliefs about these agents are constra...
Article
This article distinguishes between three projects in Ernest Becker's (1924–1974) later work: his psychology of “religion,” his psychology of religion, and his psychology of Religion (with a capital R). The first is an analysis of culture and civilization as immortality projects, means by which to deny death. The second, which overlaps with the firs...
Article
Full-text available
Trying to remember something now typically improves your ability to remember it later. However, after watching a video of a simulated bank robbery, participants who verbally described the robber were 25% worse at identifying the robber in a lineup than were participants who instead listed U.S. states and capitals—this has been termed the “verbal ov...
Article
Trying to remember something now typically improves your ability to remember it later. However, after watching a video of a simulated bank robbery, participants who verbally described the robber were 25% worse at identifying the robber in a lineup than were participants who instead listed U.S. states and capitals—this has been termed the “verbal ov...
Article
Full-text available
The notion of 'human nature' has long since captured the interest and imagination of philosophers, theologians, and scientists; as such, it appears that the study of human nature is one amenable to inter-disciplinary cross-fertilization. However, it is not obvious that there is a single coherent project being undertaken, neither between nor within...
Article
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Evolutionary debunking arguments (EDAs) against religious beliefs move from the claim that religious beliefs are caused by off-track processes to the conclusion that said religious beliefs are unjustified and/or false. Prima facie, EDAs commit the genetic fallacy, unduly conflating the context of discovery and the context of justification. In this...
Article
Full-text available
Fear of death features in both historical and contemporary theories of religion, but the relationship between death anxiety and religious belief is still ambiguous, largely due to the use of inappropriate or imprecise measures. The current studies therefore aimed to develop a valid, targeted measure of respondents’ tendency towards religious belief...
Article
Full-text available
In light of the advancements in cognitive science and the evolutionary psychology of religion in the past two decades, scientists and philosophers have begun to reflect on the theological and atheological implications of naturalistic—and in particular, evolutionary—explanations of religious belief and behaviour. However, philosophical naiveté is of...
Article
Although speculations about the role of fear—and fear of death in particular— in the evolutionary and psychological origins of religion have been around for millennia, it is only in the last decade or so that systematic empirical investigations on the matter have been undertaken. In this paper, we review this recent body of correlational and experi...
Article
Full-text available
Although fear of death features prominently in many historical and contemporary theories as a major motivational factor in religious belief, the empirical evidence available is ambivalent, and limited, we argue, by imprecise measures of belief and insufficient attention to the distinction between implicit and explicit aspects of cognition. The pres...
Article
Full-text available
Although fear of death features prominently in many historical and contemporary theories as a major motivational factor in religious belief, the empirical evidence available is ambivalent, and limited, we argue, by imprecise measures of belief and insufficient attention to the distinction between implicit and explicit aspects of cognition. The pres...
Article
Full-text available
Alvin Plantinga notes that if Christians believe is true, then their beliefs are warranted. On the basis of this insight, he ar-gues that the only decisive objection to Christian belief is a de facto one: an argument that shows that what Christians believe is false. We disagree. A critic does not need to argue that what Christians believe is false....

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Projects

Projects (3)
Project
The present research introduces a novel measure of humanism, and across 5 studies, provides an initial validation of its psychometric properties. The need for such a scale arises from the total lack of instruments available to measure ‘positive’ aspects of nonreligious worldviews.
Project
We are exploring psychobiological effects of a 5-day intensive meditation or yoga intervention on offenders within dangerous and severe personality disorders (DSPD) unit at HMP Whitemoor. DSPD unit accommodates offenders with high psychopathy or with two or more personality disorders, where they attend a 5-year rehabilitation programme that consists of group and individual psychotherapy. These results will extend previous findings on the benefits of meditation and yoga to vulnerable populations, and would provide a cost-effective addition to prisoner rehabilitation. https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT02894203
Project
Supernatural Belief and Death Anxiety are supposed to be causally related, yet the direction of influence is unclear. Uncovering and quantifying supposedly universally existing associations between these constructs requires proper specifications of construct content in addition to measurement models that replicate across cultures.