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The role of scientific reasoning and religious beliefs in use of complementary and alternative medicine
Cavojová, V.; Ersoy, S. (2020). The role of scientific reasoning and religious beliefs in use of complementary and alternative medicine. Journal of Public Health 42(3): e239-e248.
In: Journal of Public Health. OXFORD UNIV PRESS: Oxford. ISSN 1741-3842; e-ISSN 1741-3850, meer
Peer reviewed article  

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Author keywords
    alternative medicine; critical thinking; religious beliefs; scientific reasoning

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  • Cavojová, V.
  • Ersoy, S.

    BackgroundWhile previous research has shown that trust in complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is linked with other unfounded beliefs (e.g. paranormal phenomena or pharmaceutical conspiracies) and that analytic thinking can help alter these beliefs, the role of the ability to evaluate evidence as a protective factor has not been established yet.MethodsA cross-sectional design with a hundred participants was used with self-report data from questionnaires and performance test. The dependent variables were the belief in CAM and use of CAM. Predictor variables were scientific reasoning (measured by Scientific Reasoning Scale), critical thinking dispositions (measured by Critical Thinking Disposition Instrument; UF-EMI), religious beliefs (measured by Santa Clara Strength of Religious Faith Questionnaire), gender and age.ResultsScientific reasoning and religious faith independently predicted belief in alternative medicine, while the role of scientific reasoning in actual reported use of CAM diminished after religious faith, gender and age were introduced to the model.ConclusionThe results highlight the fact that it is not enough to appeal to the general critical thinking of people, but we need to teach them some practical skills that would help them to evaluate evidence in other, health-unrelated, contexts as well.

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